Newsjacking: Dunking in the Dark


Post by Elizabeth Brozovich

Newsjacking is the art and science of injecting your ideas, products, and brand into a breaking news story or current cultural event/moment, generating vast media coverage and social media engagement centered around your brand and idea.

In 2013, during the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVII, a power outage at the Superdome caused lights to go out for 34 minutes, causing a momentary blackout. Oreo optimized on this cultural moment. This sandwich cookie’s social media team took the opportunity to quickly formulate a tweet that read: “No Power? No Problem.” with a photo attached reading: “You can still dunk in the dark.”


Oreo was able to optimize on this moment, that most of the country was watching happen. During a blackout in the Superdome, most people also probably took out their phones, browsing social media. Oreo was able to formulate an Ad and a tweet almost instantly, causing their brand to be the talk of the nation during this historic moment. Oreo made this decision to make their brand relevant to what was going on in a humorous way. It is incredible that by the time people in America took out their phones to browse Twitter, this ad was already posted.

How did Oreo pull this off?

Turns out, they had a team of 15 social media team members watching the Super Bowl, ready to respond online to whatever happened during the Super Bowl, whether it was a play during the game, wardrobe malfunction during half time, or half of the stadium losing light.

“The new world order of communications today incorporates the whole of the way people are interacting with brands right now,” Sarah Hofstetter, president of digital marketing agency 360i, said in an interview with Wired. “Once the blackout happened, no one was distracted — there was nothing going on. The combination of speed and cultural relevance propelled it the forefront.” 360i was the digital marketing agency handling the game-day tweeting for Oreo.

360i also had two different versions of a victory tweet ready to go at the end of the game.

For the Superbowl, brands spend  millions of dollars to run a spot during the game. With most of the country engaged, Oreo was able to optimize on what was happening and engage America in their brand.

Touchdown for Oreo.


Group 8: Elizabeth Brozovich, Sydney Lucas, Jessica D’Amelia, Imani Campuzano-Guevara


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