How to Use Social Media for Publicity

April 9, 2016
Posted in Social Media
April 9, 2016 admin

Lessons from the Oreo Super Bowl Blackout Ad

During the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVII a power outage caused some of the lights at the Superdome to go out for around 30 minutes. As the electricians went to work, audiences had nothing better to do but check their social media accounts. Oreo quickly jumped at this opportunity.

Within minutes, the cookie company tweeted an ad captioned “Power out? No problem” and featured an image of a single, starkly lit Oreo cookie and the words, “You can still dunk in the dark.” The clever ad spread like wildfire, gaining over 15,000 retweets and 20,000 likes on Facebook almost instantaneously. On that one, well-timed ad, Oreo was deemed as the Super Bowl blackout ad winner.


So how did the company pull this off? According to Oreo’s ad agency they had an entire social media team gathered and ready to respond to anything that would happen during the game. As luck would have it, the blackout gave them exactly what they needed to churn out the most timely and relevant ad, and social media did the rest.

Oreo’s blackout ad was nothing short of advertising genius, but you don’t have to be a major cookie brand to pull it off. One thing that you do have to be in order to maximise social media the way Oreo did, is be alert.

Work at the Speed of Social Media

Social media, particularly Twitter, is unique in that it delivers information instantly. It allows companies to respond to events or concerns in real-time, something that was never possible with typical advertising.

So if you want to effectively use social media for publicity, your posts need to be as timely and relevant as possible. To achieve this, you must stay alert. Just as Oreo was during the Super Bowl, you need to keep an eye out for great social media opportunities, especially ones that your target audience is sure to share. Keep tabs on the events and public figures your audience is interested in. Be in the know about popular culture, especially the aspects that your audience is into and see if you can tie your brand or advertising to them in some way (without infringement of course).

Get Creative

Apart from timeliness, one of the biggest factors that made the Oreo ad so successful was its creativity and wit. Somehow, it made a clever joke out of an otherwise dreary situation. This made the post even more shareable.

Now this doesn’t mean that you have to have an entire social media team with you, or that you have to come up with a clever knockout ad with each opportunity. You can get clever and creative with your posts simply by creating variety. You can post relevant video clips, intriguing questions or surveys, popular or relevant quotes and jokes, infographics and even memes (there are plenty of quick and easy meme generators available online). These types of posts are not only shareable, they’re also highly interactive and make your brand more approachable and likeable.

Final Thoughts

While we can’t all be beloved cookie brands, we can take a lesson or two from their successful ad campaigns. By using social media in a timely and creative way, you too can have your very own winning Super Bowl ad moment.

Your turn now. Do you have more tips on how to gain publicity for your e-commerce shop through social media?

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