It’s True: @JCPenney Might Have Won The Super Bowl Buzz


Last year, Oreo had its big moment “newsjacking” the Super Bowl, crashing in with a tweet about the event that won the buzz even though Oreo wasn’t an sponsor. This year, Oreo literally sat this one out — and JCPenney’s “mitten-garbled” tweets might have won. Twitter measurement company TweetReach says that JPC was the most-discussed non-sponsor of the game.

Drunk Or Mittens?

First, the backstory. JCP put out two tweets in a row that many assumed were supposed to be as if the company was pretending to be drunk. Well, that the Twitter account was drunk. Well, that the person running it was drunk. You know what I mean! The tweets:

As it turned out, JCP’s eventual “reveal” was that it was actually wearing mittens:

By that point, there had been plenty of discussion about what was happening. Some was negative, people thinking it was a dumb attempt to get attention. Some was positive, people finding it it funny. And some came from other brands.

The Stunt That Worked

According to TweetReach, which sent us post-game stats, the stunt was pretty successful. The service reports that there were 131,000 tweets overall during the game, either people retweeting JCPenney tweets or tweeting about JCP, generating a huge spike:

The two tweets themselves racked up about 41,000 retweets (the first currently around 19,000 retweets; the second at 22,000 retweets; the mitten confession has around 3,600). To put that in perspective, Oreo’s big hit last year — one year later — has about 16,000 retweets. That’s less than just one of the two JCP tweets alone (though combined, they’re still only about half the attention Arby’s got for its Pharrell’s hat tweet).

Other Brands Getting In On The Action

But while the tweets drew attention, something else happened that TweetReach says is new. They were amplified greatly by other brands.

“Almost all of those popular replies to @jcpenney were brand tweets! That’s interesting, and new. We haven’t really seen brands engaging with each other like this in Super Bowls past. I think it’s just the next step in real-time marketing. We started with brands trying to make themselves part of the conversation by tweeting about what was happening on screen, and now they are actually interacting with each other as part of that conversation,” emailed Jenn Deering Davis, co-founder of Union Metrics, the company behind TweetReach.

TweetReach said that below are the top six responses, in terms of retweets, to JCPenney. 

Coors Light joked that JPC should “tweet responsibly,” which currently has 7,000 retweets:

Snickers suggested it was down to JCP being hungry, generating 3,000 retweets currently:

 Kia joked that JCPenney may need a designated driver, which has currently 2,800 retweets:

Publisher BuzzFeed worried whether JPC was OK, which has about 1,800 retweets:

The popular TBHstop account wondered what was going on, generating 1,500 retweets:

— no (@tbhstop) February 3, 2014

And Doritos wondered if JPC needed some, well, Doritos, which currently has about 1,400 retweets:

“Overall sentiment seems positive for JCP – most people were just making jokes and commenting on the weird tweets. Only 550 tweets about JCP used the word “fail” (out of 131k total tweets for the day). Overall, it seems like this strategy worked for them – they typically average around 1,800 tweets a day, and they got more than 130,000 today,” Deering Davis said.

As for Oreo, as said, it really did sit the Super Bowl out, tweeting just before the game started that it was going “dark” and stayed that way after, saying nothing:

It may have been a smart move for those who might have expected something from Oreo to top last year’s performance. That would have been tough, since Oreo was clever in reacting quickly but lucky that it has something unique to react to. But if Oreo hoped that its take-the-game-off tweet might have gone viral, no such luck. Currently, it has only 410 retweets.

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Features: The #Hashtag Bowl | Super Bowl | Top News | Uncategorized


About The Author: is Founding Editor of Marketing Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search marketing and internet marketing issues, who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • Ted Sindzinski

    I don’t know that having people mention you in a questionable if not negative light translates to any actual business driver. Especially when you’re a clothing company, blaming clothing, for it.

    Yes, I say this knowing ads from the game are about awareness, but even still, it seems like the goal has gone from fostering consideration to counting mentions, without concern over what they say.

  • Pat Grady

    At least Ron Johnson didn’t have any fumbles in this game.

  • bignasty96

    That was a total and complete fail in every sense of the word:

    Stunned you thought that was a good thing.

  • Jerry Nordstrom

    Twitter? Real people actually use twitter?

  • Marketing MadEZ

    A total fail that went viral. Maybe the biggest buzz but not for the right reason.

  • Dax Nair

    Another example of a brand trying too hard, to jump in on the real-time marketing bandwagon…

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