This Ad Exec Quit His Job In Disgust Over Oreo's Super Bowl Tweet

An advertising executive says he’s dropping out of the game, and it’s all because of Oreo’s infamous Super Bowl blackout tweet.

When the lights went off during the game, ad agency 360i immediately tweeted a simple picture of an Oreo standing in a spotlight, surrounded by darkness, with the text: “You can still dunk in the dark.” Ever since then, the industry has been obsessed with real-time social media marketing.

All 13 ad executives — thirteen! —  involved in the Oreo tweet won a Clio award for that one tweet. And then it was nominated for the Cannes Lions awards, the biggest advertising honour in the world.

andrew teman twitter oreo

That’s when Andrew Teman, a VP of social media/digital strategy and then a VP of experience planning at Hill Holliday, tweeted that if Oreo’s simple tweet won, he was quitting.

Well, the Oreo won a Grand Prix and five other awards at Cannes. And now Teman is quitting. (Kind of, but we’ll get to that.)

andrew teman

In a blog post called “I’m Quitting Advertising” that has been circulating the ad world, Teman explains that his beef isn’t with Oreo — the company’s work is “simple, it’s timely, it’s on-brand, and it almost always fit the medium in which it appears” — it’s with the ad industry itself “that’s holding this up as something revolutionary. Something that deserves the grandest of advertising awards”

Real time marketing has become the “it” thing in advertising. Minutes after the royal baby’s birth, a slew of marketers tweeted out pre-packaged images and messages “spontaneously” reacting (and capitalising) on the moment. 

Teman continues: “In bestowing this award on this piece of work, we’re actually exposing a really sad truth. That the advertising industry has become so top-heavy with cost and process and approvals and meetings and waste, that the idea of just making a simple image, and deploying it to a simple platform at an opportune moment, is considered at this point to be ground-breaking.”

So Teman has had it … although not entirely. Really he is forming a new ad agency with his friend Thomas O’Connell called “Heart” that gets creative done “without the cumbersome ad agency model and way of working.”

Even though Teman’s not out of the industry, his point does resonate. Especially when juxtaposed with the massive Omnicom-Publicis merger, creating the largest holding company in the world valued at $35 billion.

Everyone is asking what serves talent better: the small independent shop or the giant holding company?

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