Twitter and Oreos, a few of my favorite things

By Matt Gillis

It is no doubt that Twitter is taking the advertising world by storm. Essentially, the social media tool is an advertiser’s greatest gift, allowing companies to converse with their target publics, send out messages in real time, and monitor audience receptivity.

Most recently, Twitter became a more-than-successful advertising platform for one such brand, Samsung. On Sunday night during the broadcast of the 86th Annual Academy Awards, Ellen DeGeneres’s now infamous selfie with Oscar-nominated celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt, and Meryl Streep, was taken with a Samsung phone and posted via Twitter. The picture became the most retweeted picture in the social media site’s history, a record that was previously held by a picture posted by President Obama of him and Michelle celebrating after his reelection in 2012.

The selfie, which has 3,311,786 retweets and counting, shows the extent to which brands like Samsung can reach potential consumers. Companies now have the opportunity to capitalize on Twitter’s successful use of interactivity by combining the advertising medium with real-world promotional tactics to reach an optimal consumer audience.

Another brand hoping for advertising success via Twitter is Oreo. After garnering widespread attention from their successful Super Bowl XLVII advertisement released on Twitter in response to the game’s blackout, Oreo is hoping to receive comparable publicity for their latest Twitter promotion.


The cookie brand is employing vending machines that will use trending Twitter conversations to create 3D custom-printed Oreo cookies. The vending machines, which were created by technology design and innovation firm Maya Design, will be featured at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival in the Oreo Trending Vending Lounge.


Using each machine’s touch screen, users will be able to browse and choose from the trending Twitter flavors that include a variety of 12 cremes and colors. The user will then be able to watch as the edible cookie is built in front of their eyes in less than two minutes. Twitter users interested in the promotion can follow the Oreo conversation using #eatthetweet.

Oreo has managed to stay ahead of the advertising trends and create an innovative advertising experience that allows for ultimate consumer interactivity with the brand. Consumers are involved in creating the Twitter conversations that influence the Oreo flavors, they are able to choose the actual cookie to be created, and they can engage in conversation using the promoted hashtag.

This promotion definitely wins my personal award for best advertisement because it combines my two favorite things, Twitter and Oreos.

Reference list:

–       Lukovitz, K. (2014, March 6). Twitter-Powered Vending Machine Creates 3D Oreos. MediaPost. Retrieved March 6, 2014, from

–       Sloane, G. (2014, March 6). Oreo Uses Twitter to Make 3-D Cookies at SXSW. AdWeek. Retrieved March 6, 2014, from

And The Winner Is…

With the Super Bowl being the biggest football game of the year, it’s commercials are highly anticipated by many viewers. Different advertisers compete with each other to have the best ad during the Super Bowl. A lot of money is spent for the ads to be run in the TV during the game. As the time arrives for the game to happen, different commercials begin to be released in order for then to gain exposure and sometimes increase their sales. As the years have gone by, the competition has increased and the ads have become more and more of a spectacle that is highly anticipated by those watching the Super Bowl. Advertisers have to find a way of sending out a message and being creative at the same time.


After watching the Super Bowl Budweiser’s advertiser, got the best publicity and “buzz” value from its advertising in the Super Bowl. Last’s year Budweiser’s commercial had a theme of “brotherhood” by using a small horse named Clydesdale. Similarly, this year they tried to maintain the same theme by creating a sort of sequel to last’s year ad. This advertiser created a lot of “buzz” because the ad was able to appeal to most of the audience watching the game; kids and adults. They commercial was able to cause “talk” in social media and have many talk about them. During the commercial, they use “Let Her Go” by Passenger which is a song that is very popular today and therefore grabs the attention of the viewers right away. The advertisers ability to create an ad about beer that appeals to all different age groups by using gentle humor has made them be ranked as having one of the greatest commercials for the 2014 Super Bowl.

Despite many advertisers having great commercials during the Super Bowl, Budweiser will likely reap the greatest financial reward in sales as a result of their Super Bowl efforts. During the Super Bowl, many people attend parties and have a lot of food and alcohol. Most of the alcohol that is given in those Super Bowl parties consist of beer. By releasing their commercial days before the Super Bowl aired, those who were hosting parties most likely remembered the Budweiser commercial and had it present when they were buying the beer for their invites. Therefore, Budweiser probably gained a huge amount of sales by being present and making a commercial that people can relate themselves too.



#EsuranceSave30 sweepstakes explodes Twitter

By Matt Gillis

In today’s marketplace, any company looking to create a successful brand presence must turn their advertising efforts to the realm of social media. Consumers are voicing their opinions via online blogs, engaging with companies on Twitter and “liking” the organization’s Facebook page to get the brand’s latest updates. But in order to bridge the gap between such online interactions and traditional print or broadcast advertisements as a fulfillment of a company’s integrated marketing communications, these brands must provide incentive for consumers to make that jump.

While many companies chose the traditional and expensive route of broadcast television advertisements during Super Bowl XLVIII this past Sunday, Esurance, an auto insurance company, combined the use of a television commercial with the integrated communication tactic of online engagement in promotion of a sweepstakes.

The company strategically purchased a television spot for directly after the big game. In the advertisement, The Office star John Krasinski explains that the company is randomly giving away $1.5 million, which is the amount of money the company saved by waiting to advertise until after the Super Bowl, to a United States Twitter user who tweets using the hashtag #EsuranceSave30. The sweepstakes was scheduled to last from 4 p.m. Eastern Sunday until 4 a.m. Eastern Tuesday.

While the sweepstakes was the largest sum of money given out via a Twitter contest, the promotional tactic also generated significant publicity for Esurance due to its successful reception by Twitter users. According to the company’s spokesman Danny Miller, 200,000 tweets featuring the promoted hashtag were submitted within a minute of the commercial’s airing and two million entries were recorded within less than 24 hours into the contest. Esurance increased their Twitter following by 101,100 followers within the sweepstake’s timeframe and was the top trending topic throughout the United States throughout that period.


“John,” a 29-year-old from California, was revealed as the winner of the sweepstakes Wednesday night on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!.

Last year during Super Bowl XLVII, Oreo released a timely advertisement via Twitter during the game, which made reference to the blackout that occurred during the second half. Both Oreo and Esurance’s advertisements garnered more attention than any televised commercial during each Super Bowl, proving that Twitter is a powerful marketing platform in the world of advertising.

Due to the nature of Twitter, which allows users to easily retweet content generated by others, companies have the opportunity to create viral marketing messages with just a little bit of creativity. Consumers are willing and eager to engage with companies in order to establish a more intimate relationship with the brand. With just a small incentive, like $1.5 million, companies have the ability to reach outside of the bounds of traditional advertising and into the world of social media.

Reference list:

–       Luckerson, V. (2014, February 3). Esurances $1.5 Million Giveaway Is Making Twitter Go Crazy. Time: Business & Money. Retrieved February 5, 2014, from


–       Rive Holmes, R. (2014, February 6). Winner of $1.5M Esurance Giveaway Announced on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”. KMBZ. Retrieved February 6, 2014, from

Interactive Advertising: Doritos Super Bowl 2014

Doritos is known for having some of the best Super Bowl ads each year, prompting millions of viewers to stick around during commercial breaks to catch the clever thirty-second spots. For this year’s Super Bowl, the company is once again leaving the decision of choosing the commercial to air up to the brand’s fans as a part of their ongoing Crash the Super Bowl campaign.

This was the first year the contest was opened up to international filmmakers, bringing in entries from over thirty countries.  The videos are reviewed from a panel and then narrowed down to semi-finalists and then five finalists. Two of these finalists will see their ad aired during the event, one selected by the online vote, and one by the company.

These unknown filmmakers will gain more than just bragging rights if they win the contest. The winners will be given the opportunity to work with Marvel Studios on the film “Marvel’s the Avengers: Age of Ultron,” and the winner of the online vote will receive $1 million. That’s quite the incentive to put some time in for a clever ad.

In holding this yearly competition, Doritos has come up with a clever way to get their brand talked about. The contest alone may bring about more buzz than the winning commercial, and it frees the company of having to actually develop its advertisements. Crash the Super Bowl is a highly effective way to gain traffic on the Doritos website, and get press about the interest in the potential commercial.

By holding an online vote, Doritos entices people to go out of their way to watch the commercials beforehand. It makes the consumers feel as though they have an advantage in seeing the commercials early, and they connect with the brand by making a decision about its advertising. So not only will people choose to watch a collection of advertisements for the brand, they will also likely watch for the commercial spot to air during the Super Bowl to see if their choice won.

The voting for crash the Super Bowl ends January 29th but viewers can still view the collection of semi-finalists and finalists on the Doritos website before the winners air during the Super Bowl this Sunday on FOX.


(2014). Doritos raising the stakes for unknown filmmakers crashing the super bowl. LA Biz, Retrieved from

How much is too much?

For the 2014 Super Bowl, Butterfinger released a particularly suggestive teaser for their ad (see above) that compared the combination of various candy and food flavors to the experience of being in couples therapy. It features a couple, as chocolate and peanut butter, waiting in the waiting room of “Edible Couples Therapy”. It features suggestive imaging in terms of the couples and especially the couple of Crackers and Cheese. This brings up the question of how far is too far in terms of advertising? Although the message of the commercial is clear, is it worth the backlash that the company could potentially receive? 

I leads one to explore the boundaries of advertising and wonder if a suggestive of sex appeal can lead to a higher frequency of views – and, if these views are worth the potential detrimental effect the ad could have on the company’s reputation. In terms of this commercial, I believe the limit was pushed too far. Butterfinger is a company that has been active for many years and cultivates a generally family friendly reputation based simply on the product it sells. Candy bars appeal to a wide audience and includes children and adults. However, this commercial is specifically tailored to adults, a demographic that may not be as interested in candy as their younger counterparts. Therefore, I do not believe that this suggestive ad is particularly worth the backlash it could receive.

In an article titled, “Is Butterfinger Super Bowl ad too rauncy?”, the Detroit Free Press examines if in fact the new Super Bowl ad is too suggestive. The article quotes Barbara Lippert, a critic and columnist, who claims “You can’t shock people any more with nudity or foul language… Instead, you have to create these visual things that you wouldn’t ever have put together in your own mind.” (Detroit Free Press). This brings up an interesting point – while the ad is suggestive, it also culminates an idea that is very unique and creative. It is something that generally would not be thought of when thinking of Butterfinger candy. Therefore, is the ad too much or simply a fresh insight? It is question to ponder when looking at all advertising, and something to remember when looking at ad that push the limit. 

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Super Bowlvertising!

It’s really interesting how hyped up everyone gets for the Super Bowl every year! Sure, the game is exciting, but unless your team is in and you’re a huge fan then you’re probably talking about the advertisements! Yes, advertisements.

Millions are spent each year on advertisements for the Super Bowl. According to an article from the New York Post posted on Dec 3, 2013, the ad spots have already been sold out. It has become increasingly popular for advertisements to be a part of the Super Bowl as much as the game of football is. On average, $4 million to $4.5 million dollars is spent on a single ad that runs only 30 seconds (Elliot, 2013).

As learned in my Principles of Advertising class (as well as any marketing class), there is a marketing mix consisting of 4 P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. Any product that’s a big deal is usually played during the Super bowl, but more specifically, the half time. Television is a huge medium to promote something to a large audience at one time, so it’s a no brainer to use the Super bowl as your advertising medium.

The price paid for an advertisement seems to be worth it considering how much publicity there is surrounding it. Not only are you talking about it around the water cooler with your work buddies, but there are awards given out too. Websites go crazy with ranking the commercials in various categories.

The products being showcased at this year’s bowl will feature the auto industry, Anheuser-Busch, Butterfinger, Dannon yogurt, Doritos, GoDaddy, Intuit, SodaStream, and Wonderful Pistachios (Elliot, 2013). Many of these are Super Bowl veterans, but there are some new ones.  You can also expect some movie trailers. I know Marvel has one or two lined up and I’m eagerly anticipating seeing more footage for the new Captain America movie coming out.

There doesn’t need to be much promotion for these ads since they pretty much sell themselves. That’s probably the best part about the Super Bowl ads. There’s no gimmick, just incredible storytelling, humor, drama, or even some tear jerking.

At the time the article was written, the Super bowl wasn’t even happening for another 2 months yet! This just goes to show how important placement is since it seems everyone wants to promote themselves during America’s most watched sports spectacle. In addition to reaching such a wide audience, the ads are usually memorable and integrated with social media for instant feedback. It looks as if it’s a win-win for advertisers! Heck, I’m excited to see what’s coming out this year because I always enjoy the funny ads.

Here’s last year’s compilation to enjoy and get you in the mood for 2014!


Elliot, S. (2013, December 04). Super bowl advertising is already sold out, fox executives say. Retrieved on January 23, 2014 from