Thank You For Not Tweeting - Or, Super Bowl XLVIII

It pretty much sums up Super Bowl XLVIII – which now, and forevermore, will be known as the worst game with the lamest advertising – that the best thing that happened to marketing last night was Oreo’s decision not to tweet. (Except for letting everyone know, early on, that the brand would not be tweeting, summing it all up with the hashtag #OreoOut).

However, for the most part, this was not a marketing opportunity in which cooler heads prevailed, whether it was the unfortunate racist tweets that followed Wieden + Kennedy’s lovely, multilingual rendition of “America the Beautiful” on behalf of Coke or JC Penney, which… oh God, where do I start?

Well, here goes. So, about halfway through the game, @adage wondered if @JCPenney had been hacked, or whether the person man- or woman-ing the account was drunk. How else to interpret tweets such as the following:



"Toughdown Seadawks!! Is sSeattle going toa runaway wit h this???"

Or the epic:

“Who kkmew theis was ghiong tob e a baweball ghamle. #lowsscorinh 5_0”

It was only after @kia asked @jcpenney if it wanted a designated driver that the account came clean. The tweeter was wearing mittens, apparently to promote some Olympic mittens… hahaha!


By this point, @snickers – in what, to me, was the best response tweet of the night, despite my misgivings – had suggested to @jcpenney that it, “Eat a #SNICKERS, you’re not you when you're hungry.”

To which I can only respond that you’re also not you when you work too hard to concoct crazy Twitter schemes that are misinterpreted for the most obvious of reasons.

A little context here: it was less than 24 hours before that I had come back from MediaPost’s Social Media Insider Summit, and though – per usual – the speakers were full of earned and owned wisdom, this one contained a unifying  insight: that the best social marketing anticipates what’s to come, instead of – Snickers and Kia tweets aside -- just randomly looking for a reason to enter a conversation. Matt Wurst, vp/social at Oreo agency 360i – better known as Patient Zero of real-time marketing – said the agency never uses the term. To them, RTM stands for right-time marketing.

Methinks @JCPenney could have anticipated that its tweets would be misconstrued as drunk tweets -- no? On one of the biggest excuses to drink beer of the year?

But let’s move on from JCPenney, to another pet peeve of the night: brands tweeting to other brands. Tide did it, Kia did it, Snickers did it, and even if some of them were funny, the marketing world would be a better place if it weren’t so concerned with tweeting to itself. Seriously, are we playing some game of intramural tweeting here? Leave it for your next big marketing conference.

I suppose you can make a business case for the amplification a brand can get from tweeting to other accounts with huge amounts of followers, but, in the name of the restraint that Oreo showed last night, let’s take a step back.

Pretend, for a millisecond, that you have nothing to do with the advertising business, and don’t know anyone who is in it either. Now, ask yourself if you would get a chuckle out of two big corporations tweeting at each other.

I thought so.

7 comments about "Thank You For Not Tweeting - Or, Super Bowl XLVIII".
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  1. Michael Porte from The Field (social), WheresSpot, February 3, 2014 at 2:12 p.m.

    Well said.

  2. Tony Tissot from eTrigue, February 3, 2014 at 2:23 p.m.

    ... are we playing some game of intramural tweeting here?


  3. Martin Pratt from Unidad Solutions for Marketing and Media, February 3, 2014 at 2:56 p.m.

    i disagree... It would be funny because it would show that the Brands have a sense of humor. I thought Oreos "restraint" was wack/lame and kinda like that kid on the street that owns the basketball or kickball and if they don't win they take their ball in the house. Or it seemed a bit i dont know ... anti-advertising but they are a COOKIE company #comeonsun. :-)

  4. David Gutting from Barkley, February 3, 2014 at 2:59 p.m.

    Just doing something just because you can do it--i.e., tweet to another brand--kind of sums up where we are in the marketing world today.

    And beyond that, I think we may finally be seeing the crumbling of the old, iconic brand model. Let this be the beginning of the decline of the Super Bowl as a national marketing event.

    I'm not sure who the bigger loser was--the Broncos or this self-involved industry we work in.

  5. Lou Hoffman from Hoffman Agency, February 3, 2014 at 4:49 p.m.

    You make some fair points, but I don't think a brand tweeting to another brand is necessarily a bad thing.

    If a brand showed a touch personality on Twitter (wit, cleverness, self effacing, etc.) during the Super Bowl as part of the overall conversation, that was a win.

    Because most of the tweets were dreadful (or worse).

  6. Barbara Lippert from, February 3, 2014 at 10:24 p.m.

    Tide's Vines were great, and they became part of the conversation without paying the big bucks.

  7. George Parker from Parker Consultants, February 4, 2014 at 3:52 p.m.

    It's all bullshit anyway. Unfortunately, you Barbara and I are the only ones who realize that. But, we'll keep it a secret for now... OK?
    Cheers/George "AdScam" Parker

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