The game changed on Sunday. TV shut down, but the show went on. For the first time ever the Super Bowl wasn't a commercial feast anymore. All eyes were on Twitter instead, where a cookie brand's quick thinking stole the show.
Since 2010, there's been trial and error in abundance on how to use social media during a Super Bowl.
And in 2013, Oreo tweeted a real-time reference to the power outage. An image with a fun message, showing they understood how the audience were feeling.
They used the Oreo brand as an entertainment channel as much as a media company. They let their brand 'speak digital'; capitalising on their tone of voice, identity, personality and values. There was no 'advertising' this was a pure branding exercise. An attitude that has been missed in the digital space for too long.
This year, the conversation's changed. The hashtags #brandbowl and #superbranding were at the heart of the conversation.
And let's face the facts. Beyonc's performance in social media mentions surpassed Madonna's 2012 halftime show by 66%. Twitter is yet to confirm the tweet per second rate for this year, but we're predicting 45,000 tweets per second. That's more than the entire Super Bowl had in 2010, with 37,855 tweets.
So here we are. 3 years later and the reach on Twitter has multiplied by 14,000. It's time to use these platforms to build brands.
The Oreo example shows that branding in digital goes beyond media buying. It needs a team and culture that can adapt, move quickly and tell good stories.
This is just the beginning. We expect to see bundles of other brands do their own dunking in Super Bowls to come.