Oreo’s Outrageously Successful Revamp of Brand Personality

MMC 5006: In Your Words

Oreo’s Outrageously Successful Revamp of Brand Personality

For over 100 years, Oreos was   a solid brand.  The brand successfully, and by definition, “guaranteed quality and evoked desire,” (Rhodes).  Their advertising usually consisted of safe campaigns with creative always taking place in the kitchen with the popular cookie, a glass of milk and a happy family.

In 2012, Kraft reorganized and broke off a few of their best-selling products (Oreos, Ritz Crackers and Sour Patch Kids) to turn this “made the transition from self-involved advertiser to nimble content creator.”  To do this they completely revamped their culture, marketing team and creative agencies dedicated to these three brands.

The new company, Mondelez, had a corporate goal to create smarter campaigns using compelling storytelling that focuses less on their product and more on their consumer.  Since that time, Oreo has been wonderfully successful in using multimedia communications on and offline.  Oreo is currently present in print, in store merchandising and on packaging, on their website, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Mobile and more.


Asking current and new creative agencies for ideas to promote their 100th anniversary, one company brought to the table a campaign which morphed the cookie into cultural moments in history.  It was this campaign that Oreo realized “People were talking about the marketing as much as they were talking about the cookie.”

This is when the “brand personality, a set of human characteristics assigned to a brand,” (Rhodes) began to evolve.  “The brand personality is supposed to resonate with your target audience,” (Rhode) but for years Oreo focused on primarily moms and their kids.  After this print campaign, Oreo made the decision to target different age groups since everyone likes Oreos.  The brand personality began taking on a more mature but casual tone.


Oreo.com is an online portal where consumers can search products, get Oreo recipes, link to their social media platforms (which I will discuss in detail below) as well as follow and view videos from their latest campaigns, Wonderfilled, where several featured artists perform their version of the Oreo Wonderfilled Anthem, which are also available for mp3 download, and the Mini Mini Mart video promoting their newer product, the Oreo Mini.  What was missing from the site, for me personally, was a way to sign up to receive emails or offers.


The Oreo team wanted to keep up their momentum and translate the excitement from the print campaign into social.  They hit a home run with their Daily Twist campaign: 100 pieces of social media content in 100 days on Facebook depicting the classic cookie into a series of trending news stories and cultural moments. The campaign included now famous creative such as the Mars rover landing and the Gay Pride Celebration, shown below.  Every morning that summer, Oreo would scan the news feeds and creatively insert the cookie into pop culture.  This required impressive turnaround and approval processes on a daily basis. The response from consumers and fans was off the charts, but didn’t come without the usual amount of negative comments.  “Oreo set a new standard for real time marketing and saw a 280% increase in Facebook shares.  The content garnered more than 1 million likes on Facebook, or 10,000 likes per post, on average.” 


pride oreomars oreo


What truly catapulted Oreo into real time marketing stardom was their Twitter post during the Super Bowl in 2013.  When a power outage unexpectedly occurred during the big game, the Oreo team sprang into action.  Within minutes, we concepted, designed and published a piece of content that was hyper-relevant to the unfolding news.  The award winning Tweet was shared over 20,000 times over social platforms and reaped 525 million earned media impressions.  What’s interesting is during the 2014 Super Bowl, Oreo went dark themselves, wishing their followers a good night and a good game before the event started (#oreoout).

dunk in dark oreo


Oreo has always claimed to be in the snacking business, but really, their consumers purchases are driven by impulse.  In the past, consumers would pick up cookies while waiting in line at the supermarket, time now spent by many on their mobile phones.  People are also spending more and more of their extra dollars on mobile apps and games.  So it makes sense to deduce that using a mobile app would be a great new way to capture their consumer.  Also, their tried and true purchasers, mothers, make up a large percentage of casual mobile gamers.

The OREO: Twist, Lick, Dunk game allows players to win or purchase virtual currency, which can then be used to purchase different varieties of Oreo cookies to play with and provide in-game boosts.  OREO: Twist, Lick, Dunk became the number one app in 12 countries and had over 400 million organic downloads.

By targeting a new demographic and updating its brand personality and voice, Oreo became relevant and entertaining to its consumers.  Their real time marketing campaigns have gained more social media attention than most global brands.  Their success will continue because they are always one step ahead in their integrated multimedia communications plan.