The Tweet That Roared

Alumnus Roberto Salas Wins Two Cannes Lion Awards for Oreo® Super Bowl Tweet


In 2006, when Roberto Salas studied advertising at Webster University's School of Communications,
he dreamed of winning a Cannes Lion trophy. It is considered by industry professionals to be the most prestigious award in international advertising and creative communications.Roberto Salas

On June 21, 2013 his dream came true. Twice.

Salas —now senior art director of 360i in New York—won a Cannes Silver Lion for Best Use of Digital Direct Marketing in the category of Social Media and Viral Marketing. He also won a Bronze Lion for Best Viral Advertising. Both awards were earned for his team's perfectly-timed tweet for Oreo® during the power outage of the 2013 Super Bowl.

Fast Reaction to Blackout Scores Big Win for Oreo®

When there was a sudden power outage during the third quarter of this year's Super Bowl, sports commentators struggled to fill what turned out to be 34 minutes of broadcast time. Salas and the creative team from 360i seized the opportunity to connect with their brand's audience through social media.

“The timing was perfect to own the moment,” said Salas. “We knew fans would turn to social media to discuss what happened so we had to act fast to make sure Oreo® would meet them there with a fun message.”  

Within minutes, the team came up with a concept, designed, and published a message from Oreo® that captured the news with a real-time response: “YOU CAN STILL DUNK IN THE DARK.” Having key Oreo brand executives on hand helped ensure its timely execution.

Resonating With Fans and Achieving Results for Client   

Not only did the message resonate with the audience Oreo® was trying to reach, but it also achieved impressive media results. According to information published in the 360i website, the “Dunk in the Dark” image was "shared on Twitter and Facebook more than 20,000 times and garnered 525 million earned media impressions—5X the number of people who tuned in to watch the game."                                      

Oreo's® Super Bowl tweet captured the attention of media outlets around the world. While some advertisers spent $4 million for a 30-second commercial, Salas and the rest of his creative team achieved impressive results and headline-grabbing attention for their client without spending any media dollars.Oreo tweet image

More details about Salas' award-winning Oreo® ‘Dunk in the Dark' Super Bowl Blackout Tweet including a short video featuring its amazing reach can be seen at the Cannes Lions website.


Associate Professor Sally Howald said, “Roberto is great about sharing his good news with faculty and friends at Webster. He always stays in touch like we're family.”

Salas has been working on multimedia campaigns for global brands and winning awards since he graduated from Webster University's School of Communications with a bachelor of arts in Advertising and Marketing Communications in 2006.  

“Roberto is passionate about design,” said Howald. “I love the way he constantly challenges himself. He has clear goals and doesn't give up until he succeeds.”    

Winning two Cannes Lions is an extraordinary accomplishment, especially considering that this year, close to 36 thousand entries from 92 countries were submitted. This is a record for the annual awards show and festival. The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is held during the third week of June in Cannes, France, each year. 2013 marked its 60th year.

Previous Webster University coverage of Roberto Salas and the Oreo® "Dunk in the Dark" Super Bowl Tweet:

Celebrate National Oreo® Day and Dunk to Roberto Salas
Oreo's Super Bowl Score had Webster Alum Connection

The Webster University School of Communications prepares students in three academic departments to excel as skilled professionals in the global field of communications. The School provides a hands-on approach to learning that is grounded in the University's liberal arts foundation and commitment to global education. Sixteen undergraduate programs, five graduate degree programs and 12 minors cover the wide array of communications specialties. They are taught by faculty who are theorists, artists, and practitioners. Students work with professional-grade media equipment, take courses at Webster's U.S., European and Asian campuses, participate in robust field experiences and internships, and, along with faculty and alumni, are routinely recognized for their professional accomplishments.


With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University (www.webster.edu) is the only Tier 1, private, non-profit U.S.-based university providing a network of international residential campuses. Founded in 1915, Webster University's campus network today includes metropolitan, military, online and corporate locations around the world, as well as traditional residential campuses in Asia, Europe and North America. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.