For San Francisco 49ers football fans like Mary Shank Rockman, Super Bowl XLVII was a loss. A 34-31 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, to be exact.

For the digital marketers at Oreo, it was a victory -- no matter who won the football game.

Lights Out? No Sweat

When the lights went out -- literally -- at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome during the third quarter of the game, causing a 34-minute delay, Oreo jumped on the opportunity on Twitter.

“Power Out? No problem,” Oreo wrote, with a clever message with an Oreo cookie displayed against a gray/black background in a pic: “You can still dunk in the dark.”

Upset as 49ers fan Shank Rockman may have been -- “we’re all disappointed,” she said -- she was not bitter enough to see the brilliance behind the quick response from Oreo back in February.

No Cookie Cutter Effort

Shank Rockman cited Oreo’s efforts at her presentation at last week’s Kentico Connection in Boston in the marketing track. We caught up with her after her presentation to discuss why she believed Oreo’s was a successful collaborative content campaign.

customer experience, Digital Marketing Success with Cookies and Cars #KenticoConnection

In an interview with CMSWire after her presentation, Shank Rockman said that Oreo’s efforts were a shining example of marketers capitalizing on a unique opportunity to get some brand recognition in real-time.

And they did this in what -- just a few short years ago -- was an impenetrable marketing and advertising space -- the US$ 220 million Super Bowl TV monster. With the advent of social media, Oreo checked in during the most watched game on Earth for very little effort and money and in record time.

“I think that what came out of it was such a success: Oreo and their quick collaboration,” said Shank Rockman, owner and principal at MSR Communications LLC.

All in the Numbers

In just about four minutes after the lights went out due to a power outage in New Orleans, Oreo jumped on the opportunity. “Within seconds, they had 10,000 likes on Facebook,” she said. On Twitter, Oreo had 15,881 retweets and 6,261 favorites.

Shank Rockman said the clever tweet showed up all over the media and ultimately brought a “tremendous amount of attention to the company.”

Time’s NewsFeed had the headline, “WATCH: Oreo’s Snappy Super Bowl Blackout Ad: Oreo scored big during the Super Bowl blackout with a timely Tweet.” 

While Shank Rockman was not involved with the Oreo campaign, she cited it as important to showcase because of the team’s collaboration and speed at which they were able to creatively execute across all media channels.

“The Oreo campaign demonstrates the importance for digital marketers to have ‘multiple skills’ surrounding their brands that are ready at all times to capitalize on the next content marketing opportunity,” she said.

Even if your organization can’t predict great opportunities, “anything is possible,” Shank Rockman said, “when various marketing disciplines collaborate to create impact.”

Ford & CPP: Personality Matching Up with Purchase

Switching gears from cookies to cars, Shank Rockman cited the efforts of MSR Communications, the social marketing and PR firm she heads, and its client, CPP, the publishers of the Myers-Briggs personality assessment, when it teamed up with the Ford Motor Co. earlier this year.

The objective? Roll out new models by conducting personality assessments with influencers who attended the “Go Further with Ford” conference earlier this year.

What kind of personality are you? An SUV? A compact?

The campaign aimed to get buyers to first better understand themselves before making potential new car purchases. Ultimately, influencers were encouraged to take the Myers-Briggs assessment to accomplish this.

What Kind of Car Are You?

The marketers took to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to promote their campaign for Ford, “The Right Car for the Right Personality,” which was showcased leveraging a number of visual elements such as photographs, charts, signs and infographics at the conference.

The influencers were all over the campaign -- in a good way:

“Better self-awareness is good for a lot of reasons, and even as an experiment it was interesting to see Ford putting more thought into how and why their customers choose certain models over others,” wrote Nick Aster at

It also got a lot of steam on Twitter:

According to Aster, Ford’s experiment suggested seven models for seven out of the 16 possible personality types:

  • ESTP: Mustang
  • ISTJ: F250 Super Duty
  • ESFP: Escape
  • ESTJ: Taurus
  • ENTJ: Explorer Sport
  • ENTP: Fusion
  • INFP: C-Max Hybrid

“A car fit for your personality” was how Shank Rockman recalled the campaign.

“Many top influencers in the automotive world reported on this,” she added. “CPP wanted to emphasize that if people better understand themselves, ultimately, they may make better purchase decisions.”

Ultimately, where Oreo's and Ford's campaigns were wildly different in terms of planning, time and resources, the end results were the same: engagement with end users via digital marketing strategies that also put the media spotlight on each organization.

And in this industry, you want the lights to stay on all the time.