Quick Thinking Advertisers Jump On Blackout

By Adam Greenwald

With more than 110 millions viewers watching one of the most-anticipated sporting events of the year, the unthinkable happened—the lights went out. Just moments prior to the blackout, Danny Akin, President of the Southeastern Baptist Seminary tweeted “Turn out the lights the party’s over! S.F. Is done.” Looks like the Superdome had the same thought and then over half of the lights went out within the building.

For over 30 minutes, Superdome officials scrambled, players stretched on the field and over 71,000 fans proceeded to do the wave. However, with the power out in the dome, social media lit up! From Facebook to Tumblr and Twitter, users proceeded to take the break in the game to create some comedic relief. Many making jokes about Bane making an unexpected visit and others saying that Beyonce’s halftime performance took all the power out of the dome, there were a few quick thinking advertising creatives that saw the blackout as an opportunity they could capitalize on.

The first of them being Nabisco’s Oreo cookie. The company wasted only 4 minutes, quickly tweeting out “Power out? No Problem,” then attaching this simple picture. Retweeted over 10,000 times in under an hour and almost 15,000 times the day after, the tweet was also favorited over 5,000 times. This tweet spread like wildfire, reminding other executives about the opportunity the blackout presented.

Not long after Oreo sent out their tweet, Tide Laundry Detergent went to Twitter with a specialized tweet of their own.

Saying “We can’t get your #blackout, but we can get your stains out.#SuperBowl #TidePower.”

This witty tweet wasn’t as popular as Oreo’s but was still retweeted over 1,300 times. Receiving feedback from some twitter followers, Tide fans said “very clever! A good example of the power of social media for clever engagement” and “give your social media person a RAISE *golf clap*”

And lastly, one of the car giants took a stab at its competitors. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome made itself an easy target after the blackout and Audi took full advantage. Tweeting “Sending some LEDs to the @MBUSA Superdome right now…” This low blow spread pretty fast across the twitter universe with thousands of users giving Audi a round of applause.

However, like every super bowl, many viewers tune in for the commercials more than the game itself. Unlike years past, many didn’t believe that one ad clearly stood out above the rest but nevertheless, here are some of the top spots from this year.

Best Buy

Berating the most attentive sales employee ever, Parks and Rec funny woman Amy Poehler paraded around the store asking questions most people don’t think to.


This spot brought a smile to millions and even tears to some. Budweiser portrays one of the famous Clydesdales, from the time they were born to the time they went away… and then back again.


This funny commercial speaks to the underdog in all of us. After his football is stolen, the little boy is told he can come back and play when he gets a team. The kid assembles the ultimate team of mini men and comes back with vengeance.


And lastly, one of the best commercials once again came from the laundry giant. A San Francisco fan spills salsa on his jersey, only to find the resulting stain resembles a late 49ers legend. Thousands of Niners fans make the pilgrimage  to see the jersey, until his wife has enough.

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