This year, the Super Bowl saw an unprecedented level of mobile traffic. Bloomberg reports that just at the Superdome itself, AT&T’s mobile network carried a total of 388 GB of data during the game, up 80 per cent from last year’s game. In the hour that spanned the halftime show and a brief power outage, data usage hit 78 GB and calls and SMS messages nearly doubled.
Companies spared no effort in targeting consumers’ mobile internet usage during the game either. Coca-Cola, Speedstick, GoDaddy and Audi, among others, all made an effort to engage consumers digitally. However, the big winner of the night in the mobile arena was Oreo, who called on consumers to check out its profile on Instagram; according to Forbes, the company went from 2,000 to 34,000 followers in just 5 hours. But it was the company’s tweet during the blackout that caused the most chatter: “Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark.” The message was retweeted over 13,000 times during that first hour.
The Erwin Center for the Study of Advertising and Communication stated: “People watch these events with their tablet or smartphone close at hand so they can participate in the conversation via social media. You’ve got to tip your hat to Oreo for being able to respond so quickly to a situation no one could have predicted.”
Oreo wasn’t the only company to capitalize on social media. ABC News cites Tide, Walgreens, PBS and Calvin Klein amongst the brands who made use of tweeting to their advantage during the blackout, and MetLife Stadium joked: “Don’t worry. Next year, at #metlifestadium, the lights will stay on!”
Ultimately, some brands made a larger effort to drive consumer engagement by combining traditional TV spots with social media, likely to be accessed through a mobile device while in front of the television. As it appears, those conversations are continuing to engage target consumers days later.