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A Tale of Two Super Bowl Ads, and One Digital Champion

Oreo, Got Milk?

Did Oreo’s real-time marketing really win the Super Bowl marketing battle with a single tweet, or did Audi win with its more traditional #BraveryWins campaign? Could it be that the single tweet that was “heard round the world” wasn’t as successful as we all thought? It all depends on how you measure success.

Oreo’s “Whisper Commercial

Both brands had prominent placement during Super Bowl XLVII. Oreo’s “Whisper Fight” which depicts a fight between two men in a library over which part of an Oreo is best, the cookie or the creme. Oreo encouraged consumers to “choose their side on Instagram” by tagging photos with #cookiethis or #cremethis.

Using data provided by Sysomos’ social media monitoring software, the “Whisper Fight” ad didn’t generate a lot of conversation.

  • The ad itself was seen just over 1 million views on YouTube since Sunday.
  • The #cookiethis and #cremethis hashtags were mentioned 872 times on Twitter.
  • And the campaign was mentioned in just one blog entry, but had 88 hits from a variety of news outlets.

Oreo’s Super Bowl Moment

However, the brand really shined later during a 34-minute power outage. There was no shortage of coverage for what 360i did with Oreo when the lights went out.

That single tweet from Oreo has seen over 15,000 retweets, and nearly 6,000 favorites. As a brand it generated 140,777 mentions for “Oreo” on Twitter as well as:

  • 419 mentions in blogs.
  • 316 mentions in discussion boards and forums.
  • and 352 hits from a variety of news outlets.

Audi’s “Prom” Commercial

For the sixth consecutive year, the German auto maker Audi chose to invest in the awareness that can be generated by one of the most-watched TV events of the year.

Audi’s “Prom” commercial features a dateless, and dejected, teenager as he heads to his high school prom. As he is about to leave the house, his father tosses him the keys to the Audi S6. With a new outlook on the evening, the teenager arrives at the prom brimming with confidence. He parks in the principal’s parking space, busts into the dance, and heads straight towards the prom queen to lay a kiss on her.

The ad concludes with the teenager driving home with a big smile on his face, and a black eye courtesy of the prom king. The commercial concludes with “Bravery. It is what defines us” as well as the #BraveryWins hashtag.

The Super Bowl spot saw more views on YouTube than Oreo’s “Whisper” commercial, with more than 9 million views since it was uploaded (early) on January 24th. In the social media space, Audi has seen nearly four times more conversation on Twitter than Oreo initially did with the following mentions for their #BraveryWins hashtag:

  • 3,322 mentions on Twitter
  • 4 mentions across blogs
  • 1 mention in the news

So Who Won?

All these stats are great, but what can we learn from the two brands – and more importantly who really won the Super Bowl marketing battle?

While Oreo clearly had generated more conversation, did that single Tweet sell any more Oreo cookies? Nabisco hasn’t released any sales information, but I find it difficult to believe that one tweet would create a surge in sales. Perhaps a few consumers have found just a bit more affinity for the brand after their clever tweet. On the flip side, has Audi sold more cars?

In a Mashable article, Loren Angelo (GM of Marketing for Audi) said that the car maker has “achieved record levels of awareness and showroom traffic with national consideration numbers showing significant spikes post game.”

And this is why Audi has chosen to invest $4 million in branding spots during the Super Bowl instead of investing that into a digital marketing budget. Although, just last week Jack Marshall demonstrated the value that could be had by investing $4 million in digital marketing alone.

While their usage of the #BraveryWins hashtag shows a lack of true campaign integration, Audi apparently knows their audience well and what a Super Bowl spot can deliver when it comes to new car purchases.

On the flip side, Oreo has clearly demonstrated the value in having an agile and adaptable marketing team. With their real-time marketing and monitoring, the brand has demonstrated the value you can create by identifying opportunities to join, or start, a conversation.

Who do you think won the marketing battle? Is Rolando Ugarte right when he said “a new era in advertising was born?” Share your thoughts below, or join the conversation on Twitter.

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