Twitter was fast and furious last night as the Baltimore Ravens flew to glory as NFL champions, upsetting the San Francisco 49ers to cap a Super Bowl full of unexpected events.  The most unusual was a 30-plus minute post-halftime pause in the action session due to a power outage, which drove fans into a tweeting fury with speculations. Brands took clever advantage of the distraction, intercepting Super Bowl hashtags and using the social platform as the longest commercial break in Super Bowl history.

Twitter set the stage for a stellar Super Bowl. It paid off. According to Twitter, the virtual roar of the crowd set a record high of 24.1 million tweets. Despite an exciting finish and a memorable halftime show, the power outage took the spotlight with more than 300,000 tweets fired off during the commotion.  Interestingly, most fans were crediting Beyoncé’s fierce halftime show as the culprit. Celebrities Neil Patrick Harris and Kelly Clarkson were among those who lit up the social network with tweets.  Clarkson tweeted, “The force and power that is Beyonce just shut the Super Bowl down ha! Too funny!”

While fans made cheap puns over lights out, brands took advantage in their own way. The half-hour-plus downtime gave companies on Twitter a chance to showcase humor and creativity that ranged from Oreo’s “You can still dunk in the dark” quip to  Calvin Klein sneaking in a six pack… of abs.  And by taking advantage of well-trafficked hashtags, these brands a slice of the Super Bowl pie for free.



While the blackout was the most buzzed about, some of the other popular moments came from the game itself.  The Ravens Jacoby Jones scored on two spectacular plays and set Twitter peaks on both, generating 185,000 tweets per minute with his 108-yard TD kickoff return and 168,000 tweets for a spectacular TD on an underthrown ball from quarterback Joe Flacco.  The 49ers Frank Gore generated 131,000 tweets per minute on his TD run, and the clock expiring to mark the Ravens as champs set off a flurry of 183,000 tweets per minute.