Audi’s Bravery v. Mercedes Benz’s Blackout

8 Feb

Superbowl 47 has come and gone, and with any team, but the Packer playing, I’m really not interested in the game play. However being a communications student, I strictly focus on the best part of the Superbowl, the commercials.

With companies paying millions of dollars for 30 second spots, they are all pulling out the big guns to make USA Today’s top 5 on  the Ad Meter. Although the advertisement is the most essential part of the campaign, the buzz about the commercial starts on Twitter.

audiprom-1Audi, the car brand, started the Twitter conversation about two weeks before the official airing of their ad at the Superbowl with a tweet asking followers to choose the ending of their “Prom” commercial. Additionally they started using the hashtag #braverywins and had retweets and responses to their followers using the hashtag.

When Audi launched their advertisement “Prom,” in the first half of the game and the #braverywins in the commercial it created about 5,000 conversations on Twitter, however most of the conversations Audi had with their followers spent more time on the advertisement and brand, instead of the hashtag trend they were trying to push.

As the second half approached, and Beyoncé finished rocking out during halftime, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome went under a blackout. Of course this was sort of a joking matter, and because a competitor of Audi sponsored the superdome, it seemed like an appropriate time for Audi to poke a little fun at  the competitor’s company.

Audi retweeted, “Did Mercedes-Benz not pay the electric bill? #superbowl.” This does not strategically help Audi into selling more cars, but having the Audi  brand be aware of their competition and be able to make a little humor to other brands makes Audi have a better representation on Twitter. Capture

On the other hand,  they tweeted whether or not the Mercedes Benz Superdome was in need of LED lights or not? This tweet still shows the awareness of the Superbowl’s situation, and that their competition is involved with this incident because of their sponsorship. By tweeting about a specific feature that Audi offers, helps advertise their cars, while still discussing their Superbowl.

With the Superbowl being one of the biggest advertising days for most brands, they will start campaigning and creating buzz, just as Audi did weeks in advance. Although Audi’s hashtag did not create as much talk as they had wished, many people still enjoyed the commercial as a whole, made top 10, and that definitely created conversations. In addition, I think the blackout worked to Audi’s advantage by having the superdome sponsored by their competitor Mercedes Benz. The blackout created a little joking conversation that created an overall well done Superbowl campaign for Audi.


2 Responses to “Audi’s Bravery v. Mercedes Benz’s Blackout”

  1. alisonmancuso February 11, 2013 at 7:02 pm #


    I completely agree with your opinion on how Audi came out on top in regards to Super Bowl advertising. Not only did they produce an amazing commercial (which I have watched about 10 times since it aired), they took full advantage of the downtime during the power outage. I am always up for some friendly competition and thoroughly enjoyed the little jabs the company made at Mercedes.

    One article I found while doing my research for the post I wrote is ( about how effective hashtags were during the game. When you wrote about the conversations between Audi and consumers being mostly centered on the brand rather than the hashtag, I thought back to this article. It doesn’t seem that hashtags are very effective during commercials, and I’m not sure that placing them in commercials will lead to higher sales and profits for the company/brand in the long run.

    Great post!


    • leahsteinbruecker February 11, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

      Thanks for the article! I really agree that people are not focusing on the hashtags.

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