The Baltimore Ravens may have clenched the win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night in Super Bowl XLVII, a game that ended up coming down to the final seconds.  However, it was Oreo that truly won the night with a more than successful “Whisper Fight” commercial and a social media ad about the blackout that was up within minutes.

With the Super Bowl ads this year costing on average $4 million per 30-second cut, up $500,000 from last year, brands knew their ads had to be worth it.  Oreo managed to do just that with their “Whisper Fight” commercial.  Bringing light to the ongoing disagreement about whether crème or cookie is the better part of the Oreo.

The whole commercial was interesting, but it was the last few seconds of the commercial that caught the attention of thousands of viewers.  The last few seconds said, “Choose your side on Instagram @oreo.”  With this ad Oreo became the only brand or commercial to promote Instagram, which instantly made the commercial one of a kind.  Oreo’s Instagram account was launched Thursday, February 1, just two days before airing the commercial.  Prior to the commercial the @oreo account had 2,200 followers, a number that quickly jumped to 15,000 after the commercial, and capped the night off with over 35,000.  Seeing their number of followers jump as much as it did, it is clear to say that Oreo felt their commercial was successful and worth it.  The Instagram campaign encouraged followers to Instagram images with either #cremethis or #cookiethis.  A team of Oreo artists would then pick winning images to create with either cookie or crème.  So far there have been thirty-nine posts, some of which can be seen below:

Sometimes a dog licks you. Sometimes you lick the dog. @monstermaggs

A post shared by OREO (@oreo) on

With such a successful Super Bowl commercial leading to a huge Instagram campaign, it would seem as though Oreo was making its way to the top of the Super Bowl’s best advertisements list.  However, it was not until the blackout occurred, when nothing was happening on TV and people began turning to social media, that Oreo released the advertisement that would put them at the very top of the list.  Their timing could not have been better considering they were able to create and release an ad about the blackout within minutes that it occurred.



As you can see from the tweet above, the advertisement was a hug hit, with 14,777 retweets and over 200,139 Likes on Facebook.  This advertisement for Oreo became the most powerful bit of marketing during the advertising industry’s most expensive day of the year, and it was free.  The agency behind the ad was a “mission control compromised of 360i-ers, the brand team and MediaVest, so everyone was ready to create content and optimize in real time,” said 360i president Sarah Hofstetter.  “Once the power went out, the team immediately recognized an opportunity and created the image and caption.”  The ad released was an example of where the content went off script; the ad wasn’t pre-planned or created, which made it fun, exciting, and new.  For viewers, a company that releases something so quickly to a real-time event makes that brand seem much more real and human – it is unexpected, therefore it becomes that much more popular.

Not to discount other brands such as Tide, Audi, and Volkswagen USA, Oreo wasn’t the only one to come out with an ad following the blackout, just the fastest.

What do you think about the ads from the Super Bowl?  Was Oreo at the top of your list?  Let us know in the comment section!