Business Magazine

Face-to-face for the Oreo Tweet

Posted on the 05 February 2013 by Jlipnack @jlipnack

Being a three-screen watcher of the Stupor Bowl, which tells you a lot about my interest in football (see for example, The Stronger Women Get, The More Men Love Football, introduced to me by my nevertheless-Patriots-loving Daughter #1), I had a great time tweeting during the famous Lights-out of 2013. (Further disclosure: When the Pats are winning, I can't resist regional pride.)

Thus the now-famous Oreo tweet came up right away in my feed, even though I don't follow the cookie (never mind, I can taste it just thinking of it, scraping my teeth across the icing, dissolving the cookie on my tongue -- you're welcome, Nabisco, for the commercial).

Which made me curious about how decisions were made such that the tweet was up nearly simultaneously with lights-out. Lacking the time to turn this into investigative journalism requiring my actually contacting the ad agency responsible for it (, I did the next best thing: I read the posts from others. 

According to Buzzfeed's "How Oreo Got that Twitter Ad Up So Fast" (thank you, Rachel Sanders), the answer is co-location:

"We had a mission control set up at our office with the brand and 360i, and when the blackout happened, the team looked at it as an opportunity," agency president Sarah Hofstetter told BuzzFeed. "Because the brand team was there, it was easy to get approvals and get it up in minutes."

...The key? Having Oreo executives in the room, ready to pull the trigger.

My questions: Could they have made the decision as quickly if everyone was not in the room? Who came up with the idea originally? Were they shouting to one another? Sharing one large screen? Several? Were the Oreo execs making the call on every tweet (they had a near constant flood of tweets, of which this was only one)? Had they set out operating agreements for what would go live and what needed approval beforehand? Were the most senior Oreo execs online and watching the quick-acting team that garnered so much buzz so quickly?

Someone will make this a case study in social media, for sure. And it will be interesting to see what lessons are drawn about collaboration and proximity from it.


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