A lot of companies seem to think that simply being on social media platforms is an effective way to get consumers to fall in love with your brand. Over and over I see companies making the same mistake of focusing on the spread of the message rather than the message itself. Brands are purchasing retweets left and right when they should be investing that money into developing a creative message that will go viral on its own. If the message is really reaching people and getting them interested in your brand, you won’t have to purchase retweets because your audience will be spreading your message free of charge.
Case in point: Oreo’s superbowl tweet.
Oreo did it right. Here’s how:
First of all, the content was relevant. Oreo didn’t just put out any old ad. They created a brand new message specifically tailored to the situation: a stadium blackout at the Super Bowl. Why did this work? People like to talk about what’s happening now. They want to be in the know. And they don’t want to just have a boring old conversation about what’s happening either. They want to hear something new and entertaining. Oreo did all of the above.
Second of all, their team was quick and reactive. The graphic was designed, captioned, and posted within minutes after the lights went out. Most brands would hesitate in making hasty decisions like this, but Oreo took full advantage of the situation the moment it hit. They jumped on the opportunity and stole the show before any other brand could even think about putting their 2 cents in. And do you think they just so happened to think of something clever and put it together? No way, José. Bet your bottom dollar they had a team of creatives and PR personnel standing by, just waiting to react to whatever situation was thrown at them. They were quick because they were prepared.
Finally, the message itself was witty and unexpected. The ad went viral on twitter because it caught everyone off-guard and resonated with them in some way. It was creative and funny and didn’t feel like an ad. It broke the 4th wall by going meta and commenting on something extremely of-the-moment. This sort of quick-wittedness isn’t something we see every day from a brand. Oreo’s audience knew this wasn’t some ad that had been cooked up for months. It was fresh, and everyone could feel it.
So there you have it, folks. Oreo’s tweet went viral because it had a message that met at the intersection of content, relevancy, speed, and wit. It may seem like a complicated formula to nail, but with as much money as brands are spending on retweets of irrelevant content, they would be making a very smart move to shift that part of their budget towards a more reactive creative strategy.