Lighting Up Twitter During The Super Bowl Blackout

Another big game is wrapped and written for the history books. The side stepping safety, celebratory confetti angels, and Ray Lewis’ tears are now a happy memory for the #RavensNation. But during the biggest sporting event of the year, Super Bowl XLVII, there was a much different game happening on Twitter. Brand marketers and their social media teams fought to intrigue the millions of viewers with expensive celebrity-endorsed commercial spots and clever hashtags.

Over the past few years, Twitter has unquestionably emerged as the viewers’ choice for live engagement and social interaction during the Super Bowl. Look no further than the numbers—they simply do not lie. This year alone, an unprecedented 24.1 million tweets were sent out over the course of the 4-hour broadcast, with 5.5 millions tweets delivered during the #BeyonceBowl halftime show. But it was the unplanned blackout at Mercedes-Benz Superdome that separated the real winners and “the also-rans” during the social media blitz that is real-time, authentic engagement.

Within five minutes of the infamous blackout in the second half of the Super Bowl, Andrew White, M80 Senior Social Media Manager, tweeted from the Audi account:



This tweet instantly caught fire on Twitter, as Audi was the first to enter the blackout conversation. Adding further fuel, was the fact that Mercedes-Benz—a direct competitor to Audi—is the official Superdome stadium sponsor in New Orleans. This light-hearted jab went unanswered by any of Mercedes’ representatives or from their official Twitter handle (@MBUSA), which was surprisingly dormant during a game being played at their stadium.

By the end of the game the tweet amassed over 8,500 RTs and 2,500 Faves, while Audi conversation, which was slowing after the first quarter ad placement, spiked to earn over 3,000 mentions and 2,000 additional follows.

Fans of the tweet also weighed in:



What are the key takeaways from the buzz surrounding this tweet? Naturally, Andrew White took to Twitter to share his thoughts:


In conclusion, be authentic, original, timely and relevant and you won’t have to worry about fans of your brand tweeting at you with the #NotBuyingIt hashtag. Consumers are smarter than that, so marketers should start treating them that way.

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