The Super Bowl is an iconic American past time were friends, families, and fans all come together to watch some great football.  Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens for their win against the SF 49ers.  While there has been a lot of focus dedicated to the various teams playing in the game, it was interesting to see what was emerging via social media as well.

What did we learn from this year’s Super Bowl overall?  There are some trends we have seen consistently not only the commercials, but how they are using social media itself.  However, as many on my Twitter feed mentioned, the real story was what was happening in terms of engaging fans via Twitter and other social media platforms.

Power of newsjacking for brands:  David Meerman Scott first coined this phrase a few years ago and has a book on the subject as well. From what we can see, newsjacking really was clearly seen in this year’s Super Bowl and was actually listed as one of the key trends to watch for 2013.  Oreo brilliantly created a visual communicating how you can still dunk a cookie even in the dark when there was a power outage in New Orleans.  Definitely a great example of real-time marketing strategy at play.  Well played, Oreo. Walgreens also jumped on board as well by offering candles, but what made Oreos stand out from the crowd was the fact they added the visual component that was aligned to their brand.

Always expect the unexpected and be prepared for any crisis to happen:  This of course happened during the Super Bowl when the there was a power outage which caused other brands like Oreo, Walgreens, Tide, and even the MLB to jump on board with their commentary and integrated their brands to the mix. Many reasons were given for why this happened, but the classic jab towards the Superdome came from Audi by mentioning how they are going to send LED lights to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.  Ouch.

Fans and other social media users jump on board to get their 15 minutes or so of fan by providing witty and humorous commentary on social media:  With the commercials, performances during the game, and football in general – fans were very active in engaging in conversations via Twitter.  From conspiracy theories to blaming Beyonce for the power, the list goes on and played out via Twitter to create the organic hashtag #BlackoutBowl.  The power outage was actually the most talked about item of the Super Bowl – which of course is probably not what CBS and the NFL expected for the game.

Storybranding is absolutely key to integrate with brands and their campaigns:  Jeep, Ram, and Budweiser really tapped into this aspect for their commercials by telling a story to share with others in a visual and strategic manner in their commercials.  The reaction to all three commercials and campaigns has been extremely positive. Here is the commercial for Ram that focused on Paul Harvey and farmers:


Commercials used hashtags, but some were not trending.  Many of the brands were using hashtags that were not associated with the brand itself, which was a risk to take.  Instead of going to the hashtag strategy, Oreo went and directed people to go to their Instagram page and use their cookies cream hashtag. The result?  Before the commercial, they had 2,000 followers.  Now, they have over 30,000 following on Instagram.  I would say that was a success.

In summary, what we have seen here with this Super Bowl is the emergence and importance of several key strategies for public relations and strategic communication professionals to recognize.  First, you have to be on top of things for your brand in terms of social media.  Opportunities may arise to tie in your brand with a popular topic or issue, so timing is everything.  Storybranding is key for brands to integrate into their various messages to reach their audiences.  Crises do happen and it really all depends on how you react to them – and we got a chance to see some brands interact and engage with each other in making the most out of the power outage.

Overall, I think we are going to remember this Super Bowl for a long time for many reasons, but this was the one that brought about newsjacking, storybranding, and showcased power of brand personalities.

Hope you all are having a great day.

Best Wishes,