First and foremost, congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens on their victory in Super Bowl XLVII (47). The game proved to be just as exciting as everyone had hoped.

But now let’s get to the real reason we’re here. Over the past few years, the Super Bowl has gotten more and more social media friendly. The addition of hashtags and making ads compatible with apps like Shazam are just two examples of how companies have found ways to continue their advertisement past the 30-60 second mark (and also saving a few million dollars). However, I feel that something happened this year. Social media was much more prevalent, ran successful campaigns, and companies were ready to go at a moments notice.

Here are some examples (my opinion) of the top social media moments of Super Bowl XLVII…

Oreo’s “Whisper Fight” commercial debuted early in the game. The fun, 35 second ad takes place in a library and pits the argument of which is the better part of an Oreo; the cream or the cookie? The ad prompted viewers to go to Oreo’s Instagram account to vote for which they like better. According to Mashable

Before the commercial aired, Oreo had around 2,200 followers, a company spokesperson told Mashable. Shortly after, its following climbed to nearly 20,000.

As of 9:45pm (PST) on Super Bowl Sunday, the account has over 34,000 followers. We’ll see more from Oreo a little later.

Everything was going along smoothly. Then the lights went out. And (pardon the pun) this is where companies started to shine. A 34-minute delay in the game. Twitter started blowing up. Everyone ran to the microblogging site to voice their opinions, make some jokes, and complain about how the game should just keep going. (BuzzFeed made a great  list of the best tweets here).

But this provided a golden opportunity to companies. Advertisement space for the Super Bowl is costly. Most companies can’t afford multiple spots. With the attention off of the TV and directed online, companies were suddenly provided with a captive audience and FREE space.

Buffalo Wild Wings has had a campaign for a while now depicting fans/bartenders controlling games from the restaurant, allowing for everyone to have a little more enjoyment out of their football watching experience (and eat more). When the lights went down, @BWWings was on the ball.

As of the time of this post, that tweet has been retweeted 9,790+ times and favorited 2,190+ times.

The car company Audi opted to take a dig at rival automaker and naming sponsor of the Superdome, Mercedes-Benz.

8,990+ Retweets. 2,700+ Favorites.

Tide, the laundry detergent company, sent out a simple image.

With 1,250+ retweets, This allowed the company’s pre-planned hashtag (#MiracleStain) to get exposure before their ad even aired.

With Major League Baseball season approaching, @MLB opted to take this opportunity to remind the country that Spring Training is just around the corner. Between their two tweets, they generated 9,800+ retweets.

Walgreens wanted to remind viewers (and the NFL) that they were open and ready to help.

PBS wanted to remind viewers that they didn’t HAVE to watch the Super Bowl.

And next year’s Super Bowl venue wanted to make sure that fans knew that they would all be in good hands come next February.

Theories started swirling  on Twitter about possible covert advertising campaigns. “Bane” (as in The Dark Knight Rises villain who blew up a football stadium) started trending. TV shows and movies with apocalyptic themes were hot topics.  The new NBC show “Revolution,” which is all about a post-apocalyptic world without electricity jumped on the Twitter bandwagon and got some nice advertising time, even though the game was on CBS.

All of those companies/brands did “it” right. Others, like Volkswagen, did not.

Instead of creating new, topical, and clever content, VW opted to use their #GetHappy campaign and just…repost the commercial that had already aired.

But the MVP of “The Great Super Bowl Blackout” went to a cookie. Oreo had already “Won The Day” by tripling their Instagram following. But Oreo wanted to be prepared all night. According to BuzzFeed, Oreo and advertising agency 360i wanted to be ready for anything. They had set up a “mission control” of sorts to be able to carefully create content on the fly and send it out during the game. With Oreo executives in the room ready to approve the new content, and the Twitterverse going crazy over the unprecedented blackout, Oreo sent out the follow tweet and image.

How was it received? 13,000+ retweets. 4,400+ favorites.

The reaction was so quick. The simplicity was so perfect. The price was so FREE.

I’m sure that there were many other companies who were quick on their feet and posted accordingly during the stoppage in the game. I’m also sure that there are companies/brands who are currently kicking themselves right now for not getting in on the action. But for the most part, companies “get it.” They understand how valuable social media is. They understand that they need to always be ready to go.

I think thats incredible. This article discusses how ready Bud Light and Speed Stick were.

What does this mean? It means that companies may take a closer look at their social media departments and (potentially) order immediate growth (#AlexForHire). It means that “free” advertising may be the future of Super Bowl commercials. It means that everyone who made fun of me for taking a “class about Twitter” can shut it (shout out to #J412ssm)!

Tonight was a big night for anyone wanting to be involved in corporate social media. What will be next?

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