Welcome to Will It Stick, a podcast hosted by Alexis and Melissa as they seek to break down the craziest marketing brand stunts. From what sparked the idea, to whether the stunt proved successful, they take listeners on a journey of brand history. In this episode, they take a look at the company behind the best-selling cookie in the entire world: Oreo. It is estimated that 500 billion Oreo cookies have been sold since its creation.
The first Oreo was called the Oreo Biscuit and was developed in 1912, born out of a sibling rivalry between two brothers. Jacob and Joseph Loose owned a small bakery together in Kansas City before working with a lawyer to form one large conglomerate company, now known as Nabisco. After parting ways, Jacob parted with a new company to form the Loose Willy’s Biscuit Company. Their new cookie, the Hydrox, went head to head with Oreo. Over time, Oreo triumphed and Hydrox became known as the knock-off.
It was in the 1950s that Nabisco decided to double down on Oreo marketing. They unveiled the Lick campaign and debuted the Oreo slogan theme song we know today. It wasn’t until 2008 that they really started to play big and premiere a Super Bowl commercial.
One of the biggest things which makes Oreos’ marketing so brilliant is their use of pop culture in advertising. Jumping on the huge success of Game of Thrones, Oreo launched four different products inspired by characters from the show for a limited time. The stunt, launched before the show finale, generated much attention with major news networks and on social media. It was one of the brand’s fastest-selling products ever. In partnership with Lady Gaga, Oreo launched a special edition collaboration with the pop singer. In addition to the pink cookies, they created a new campaign called Sing with Oreo to encourage others to send messages of kindness.
Their playful approach to marketing is another technique that sets Oreo apart from competitors. In 2019, they partnered with Wiz Khalifa to come up with a song just for Oreo. The playful song was released as part of the Oreo and Wiz Khalifa limited-edition music box. In tune with the chaos of 2020, Oreo unveiled the Oreo Vault, a real asteroid-proof facility built to protect the Oreo recipe inspired by doomsday talk. The vault was placed in Norway and was intended to bring relief from the current worries of the world. On June 27, 2021, the same day the government was set to announce everything they knew about UFOs, Oreo created a peace offering campaign for Aliens. It included updated packaging and an entire series of UFOs and even went as far as carving a giant Oreo cookie in an open field.
The final key in Oreo’s marketing is its ability to innovate and look at its products in a whole new light. They unveiled a new campaign called Oreo Snack Hack, which tapped into foodie culture and recruited top chefs to show loyal customers new ways to enjoy their favorite cookie.
Oreo is a prime example of a company that is never afraid to try new things and look at its products in a new light.
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Check out some of the great articles we sourced to gather all the facts for this episode.
Watch the Wiz Khalifa collaboration here.
Watch the Oreo Offering here.
See the Oreo Vault here.
Read the Delish article about Oreo and Lady Gaga Cookies
Read the Business Insider article about How Oreo Went From Knock Off to the World’s Favorite Cookies
Read the Mashed.com article about the Untold Truth of Oreo Cookies
Read the Famous Campaigns article about Oreo’s Partnership with Game of Thrones