Data & Analytics

12:08 PM
Nathan Golia
Nathan Golia
Commentary
Connect Directly
Facebook
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Why Didn't State Farm's Blackout Tweet Go Viral Like Oreo's?

Oreo is all over the marketing press today for its near-instant Tweet of a relevant ad during the Super Bowl blackout. But State Farm did the same thing. What was the difference between the two, and what could the insurer have done?

Last night's blackout of about half of the Superdome during the Super Bowl became a minor cultural touchpoint almost instantly. While certainly not as profound an event as the moon landing, for example, the millions of game viewers will certainly remember it for quite a while due to its suddenness, its absurdity -- and its social media impact.

Twitter says that there were 231,000 tweets per minute during the blackout, eclipsing the amount during the remarkable 108-yard kickoff return by Baltimore's Jacoby Jones at the start of the second half -- the most-tweeted in-game event -- by about 50,000 per minute. Among those tweets was an ad by Oreo:

At the time of this writing, the ad has almost 15,000 retweets, as well as immeasurable, breathless, laudatory blog entries by the marketing media (of which I used to be a part -- there's no way I wasn't writing about this today.) Oreo is said to have " won the Super Bowl " by more than one outlet. Buzzfeed gets credit for the scoop of the night by scoring an interview with an executive at Oreo's agency, 360i, who told the site how they were able to get the ad up so fast.

[360i speaks to I&T about identifying opportunities for apps vs. the mobile web]

But I didn't see the Oreo tweet. I don't follow Oreo. I do, however, follow State Farm, which also put out an opportunistic tweet when the lights went out:

I chuckled and retweeted it, then went back to texting jokes to my friends, blissfully unaware of the viral power unleashed by Oreo. This morning, after seeing the incredible response Oreo got, I checked back in with State Farm's to see the response to their tweet. As you can see, it didn't get nearly the same amount of traction: only 111 retweets as of this writing.

However, this shouldn't discourage State Farm from having its social media people at the ready during future Super Bowls or other moments of rapt nationwide attention to capitalize on attention-grabbing moments. Instead, the insurer -- and others -- can learn from what Oreo did and potentially be the Next Big Thing on social media. Here's what I would do next time:

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
tgolesworthy
50%
50%
tgolesworthy,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/30/2013 | 4:23:36 PM
re: Why Didn't State Farm's Blackout Tweet Go Viral Like Oreo's?
First, sorry for late response, did not see the question - all my fault.
Anyway - you are right Twitter is more visible and I think it is because of the hashtag. I saw the Tide and Oreo ads because I was following the Superbowl Twitter hashtag, not because I had any connection to those brands. With Mayhem, this needed existing fans (and only a fraction will see the post) to like it to further the distribution and this will take time and thereby possibly no longer be topical. Twitter is instant and lends itself to real time and viral messaging. For insurers, it is becoming a news feed of choice for natural disasters and information. In the Boston bombings, it was Twitter where information flowed not Facebook - the Boston PD twitter feed became the place to get news (certainly better than CNN).
Nathan Golia
50%
50%
Nathan Golia,
User Rank: Author
3/18/2013 | 7:31:15 PM
re: Why Didn't State Farm's Blackout Tweet Go Viral Like Oreo's?
Terry, what do you think about the difference in notoriety and reach between Twitter and Facebook? For example, it was great how many interactions Allstate got from its Mayhem FB postGbut it wasn't all over the place like Tide. Does this help illustrate how much more visible Twitter is than Facebook?
tgolesworthy
50%
50%
tgolesworthy,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/17/2013 | 11:55:30 PM
re: Why Didn't State Farm's Blackout Tweet Go Viral Like Oreo's?
Being creative and clever is the key. Oreos and Tide ads were both funny and gained respect causing them to be retweeted. State Farm were essentially selling insurance and nobody wants to send that to friends during the game. Mayhems comment on Facebook (there is no Twitter feed) gained 100,000 interactions because it was funny and in character. Pekin insurance sent a similar message to Stat Farm the next day and it was their most shared of the month because agents had fun with it. TN Farm Bureau Insurance jumped onto the RAM truck ad (God made a Farmer). This new form of marketing is not going away - State Farm also jumped on the Russian Meteor to talk about homeowners insurance and Allstate the Pope's retirement to discuss retirement planning. But again being timely is one thing, becoming viral is providing the audience an opportunity to look good by passing on something clever.
Nathan Golia
50%
50%
Nathan Golia,
User Rank: Author
2/5/2013 | 8:31:09 PM
re: Why Didn't State Farm's Blackout Tweet Go Viral Like Oreo's?
Good point, I didn't know that. So someone at Allstate was on top of it. I would say there's three reasons why it didn't get as much attention:

First, like you said, there was no additional content associated with the status update. Much of what Oreo is being lauded for has to do with getting the new ad up as part of its tweet.

Second, while Facebook has more users, Twitter is more easily accessible if you're not logged in. I can embed a tweet. I can link directly to a tweet G even in a Facebook status update. It's likely the overall reach of a tweet- exceeds the potential reach of a Facebook status, which is most easily shared only within the walled garden of Facebook itself.

Third, Twitter has seemingly supplanted Facebook as marketers' social network of choice. Twitter was mentioned in 26 of 52 Super Bowl commercials, for example; Facebook only 4. Last year they were tied at 8. So it seems logical that data has shown Twitter to be a more effective marketing vehicle G so a marketer's innovation on that network would naturally glean more attention.
Cara Latham
50%
50%
Cara Latham,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/5/2013 | 8:27:12 PM
re: Why Didn't State Farm's Blackout Tweet Go Viral Like Oreo's?
-ELELT,
This is true. Here is a link to the actual page, where you can see the post from Sunday: http://www.facebook.com/mayhem...

Currently, there are 20,088 shares of this status on Facebook, but I wonder whether, as ELELT said, there would have been more attention and mentions if there had been a multichannel approach.

Many of the people who follow Mayhem on Facebook may not be of age to purchase insurance and may simply follow the Mayhem page because they had liked the commercials. Had Allstate looked into a multi-channel approach, perhaps it could have really made an impact.
FritzNelson
50%
50%
FritzNelson,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/5/2013 | 8:11:51 PM
re: Why Didn't State Farm's Blackout Tweet Go Viral Like Oreo's?
The Mayhem guy superimposed at the blackout on the field -- that would have been hysterical. Another factor: I don't know how many followers there were of @oreo before the game -- there are 70,000 as I write this. And only 30,000 of @StateFarm. -(Only being relative. But @Allstate has 31,000.) Whose went up first? When were people most bored and perhaps on Twitter, waiting for the game to resume? Is there a science to timing?
ELELT
50%
50%
ELELT,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/5/2013 | 8:06:31 PM
re: Why Didn't State Farm's Blackout Tweet Go Viral Like Oreo's?
Allstate's Mayhem did post on Facebook, had more shares than the Oreo mention, the media just didn't pick it up.- Why? Goes back to having a contingency content plan and a supporting multichannel strategy.
Melanie Rodier
50%
50%
Melanie Rodier,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/5/2013 | 6:38:53 PM
re: Why Didn't State Farm's Blackout Tweet Go Viral Like Oreo's?
True, Oreo's tweet is funny. You are much more likely to retweet funny tweets (and particularly photos with funny captions) than a tweet that links to a whole load of written information, however interesting it may be when you have the time (or inclination) to sit down and read it.-
Nathan Golia
50%
50%
Nathan Golia,
User Rank: Author
2/4/2013 | 10:49:03 PM
re: Why Didn't State Farm's Blackout Tweet Go Viral Like Oreo's?
-Good point, Robert G one that shouldn't be lost. These opportunities aren't about hard sells, they're about brand affinity.
RobertArvanitis
50%
50%
RobertArvanitis,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/4/2013 | 7:19:28 PM
re: Why Didn't State Farm's Blackout Tweet Go Viral Like Oreo's?
Also, helps to be funny.- Insurance is a "need" not "want" sale, so lighten up!
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Register for Insurance & Technology Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Slideshows
Video