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Erwin Center: Social Steals The Show At Super Bowl XLVII

GREENVILLE, S.C., Feb. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Dozens of advertisers paid nearly $4 million to run a 30-second commercial during last night's airing of Super Bowl XLVII, but it was a low-cost, opportunistic social media effort that created the most brand chatter according to the Erwin Center for the Study of Advertising and Communication at Clemson University.

Oreo, capitalizing on the confusion created by a power outage that left the stadium only half lit for 30 minutes, quickly put out a message on Twitter:  "Power out?  No problem.  You can still dunk in the dark."  That message was retweeted more than 10,000 times within the first hour alone, a testimony to social media's growing influence on major broadcast events.

"The Super Bowl, just like the Grammy's, Oscars and so many other big telecasts, has really become a multi-screen phenomenon," said Andy Mendelsohn, chief creative officer at leading marketing firm Erwin Penland and an adjunct instructor for Clemson's Department of Communications Studies.  "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."

Mendelsohn joined students from Clemson University's Social Media Listening Center in hosting a live chat about Super Bowl marketing throughout the game.  While several commercials, including those from Ram Trucks, Tide and Budweiser, drew praise from viewers, it was the online efforts of brands such as Oreo, Audi, Tide and Volkswagen – all of which also advertised during the broadcast – that demonstrated how the real-time power of social media is allowing brands to not just speak to consumers, but truly engage with them.

"I understand Oreo had a team assembled that included company executives along with their digital agency that was closely monitoring social media conversations during the game, just like we did here at Clemson," said Eddie Smith, senior lecturer at the school's Department of Communication Studies.  "That allowed them to quickly devise a strategy and get immediate approvals so they could capitalize on events as they unfolded.  I predict we'll see more of this in the future, especially from challenger brands that can't afford the millions of dollars it takes to create and air a commercial during the Super Bowl."

About The Erwin Center

The Erwin Center for the Study of Advertising and Communication is a partnership between Clemson University and the founders of Erwin Penland, one of the largest full-service advertising agencies based in the South.   Ranked #25 among national public universities, Clemson University is a major, land-grant, science- and engineering-oriented research university that maintains a strong commitment to teaching and student success.  With offices in Greenville, S.C., New York and Detroit, Erwin Penland offers integrated advertising, strategic planning, media, digital, experiential, direct marketing, design and public relations services to a wide range of world-class clients .  For more information, visit

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