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Super Bowl sets Twitter record, as Volkswagen launches social war room

Sharon Gaudin | Feb. 4, 2014
No big winners in the social Super Bowl but brands work hard for attention.

Raashee Erry, media and connections planning manager for Volkswagen, said their timing was spot on.

"It was in line with our strategy," she told Computerworld. "We weren't playing favorites, but we saw an opportunity to boost the conversation, boost the momentum... We had a lot of fun. We got what we set forth to do and all in all it went really well."

Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group, said you have to give companies credit for putting themselves out there on social networks.

"It's a smart strategy and can really pay off in terms of visibility if the company comes up with something that hits the right chord with viewers," he said. "It's the corporate equivalent of improvisational comedy, which isn't a skill that most companies foster in their ranks or recognize when they see it. Being funny in real time is one of the most difficult feats in entertainment, or in your own living room, so I gotta respect their effort."

The issue, though, was that Olds hadn't noticed Volkswagen's efforts.

"Maybe I was stuffing BBQ chips in my face and missed it," he said. "But looking at the videos today, they're not bad at all. I think that maybe they didn't promote these vids enough."

Volkswagen worked hard but it's unclear if they came up with a clearly huge win.

Nabisco grabbed the spotlight during the 2013 Super Bowl by quickly, and cleverly, jumping on the fact that the lights went out in the stadium during the game with an Oreo twitpic about dunking in the dark. That one tweet and image had people talking about Oreo for days.

Despite its war room, Volkswagen came out with clever tweets but nothing that garnered the same amount of attention.

For instance, their tweet telling Denver to hang in there had 107 retweets and was favorited 131 times.

In comparison, Oreo's dunking in the dark tweet and twitpic had nearly 15,000 retweets and had been favorited more than 5,000 times by the next day.

Volkswagen is measuring their success with a wide range of variables.

The company noted that it gained 1,900 new Facebook users during the game, reaching more than 1,995,000 users total. The company also gained 700 new Twitter followers, reaching more than 232,000.

"We're talking about a gain in a few hours," said Erry. "It's engagement. It's mentions. It's conversations we're gaining. It's an overall engagement with the brand. Collectively, we deem this as a great night."

She added the company hasn't decided whether to pull together another war room for the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, which begins this week.

 

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