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Thanks to Oreo, ‘culture-jacking’ is a thing, but how is it done?


Thanks to Oreo, ‘culture-jacking’ is a thing, but how is it done?


Within minutes of the power failing during the third quarter of yesterday’s Super Bowl at the New Orleans Superdome, Oreo sprung forth from the dark to take popular victory in what is more appropriately known globally as the Brand Bowl.

Here’s the tweet from @Oreo:

You can still dunk in the dark

Twitter was stunned and more than a little impressed. It might not have been the funniest or most clever tweet on the ‘lights out’ topic, but it was certainly the quickest from a huge brand such as Oreo.

So who gets the credit? A quick-witted social media staffer? Well, no. The ad was actually made in cooperation with the brand’s agency 360i and managed to get full approval before going live.

360i’s president, Sarrah Hofstetter, told Buzzfeed: “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” … “Because the brand team was there, it was easy to get approvals and get it up in minutes.”

It took minutes for the advertisement to be designed, captioned and approved. According to AdAge, “All the decisions were made in real time quickly because marketers and agency members were sitting together at a ‘mission control’ centre, or a social-media war room of sorts.”

The answer to how culture-jacking at this level is achieved is less about right-place-right-time luck than it is about being completely prepared and expecting to do so. And according to Hoffstetter, Oreo exemplifies best practice in real-time digital branding: “They are relevant, visible and constant. And they are a brave brand. So whether it was the Daily Twist program from this summer, their amazing 100th birthday celebration last year, or last night’s real-time culture-jacking, Oreo finds a way to be relevant and on brand,” Hofstetter told the Wall Street Journal‘s Speakeasy blog.



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