Oreo – Milky’s Favourite Cookie Turns 100

Published in Marketing & Strategy Articles category by MBA Skool Team , Published on May 03, 2012

6th March, 2012 saw the 100th birthday of the Oreo Cookies; Or rather called Oreo sandwiches. As part of its 100th birthday celebrations, Kraft foods launched a series of ads featuring great moments from the past 100 years emphasizing that Oreo was there during that moment.  As part of its 100th birthday Kraft has also launched a special edition Birthday Cake Oreo.

Kraft also hosted birthday parties in more than 20 countries worldwide. As part of that, Canada which is Oreo’s 4th largest market after the US, China and Venezuela saw the unveiling of the World’s largest Oreo cookie. Nabisco also started a campaign inviting users to share their Oreo moments of joy on its site.

Some facts about Oreo

  • About 25 billion Oreos are eaten each year
  • Design on each biscuit consists of – 12 flowers, 12 dots and 12 dashes on each side.
  • If every Oreo biscuit ever made was stacked on top of each other the pile would reach to the moon and back more than 5 times

What is it that has made Oreo such a great product and enabled it to sustain its dominance over the last 100 years? According to 1985 Guinness World Records consumers spent 10% of their cookie dollars on Oreos in 1982.

At the heart of the Oreo’s Marketing Mix is a great product. First introduced in 1912, the recipe of Oreo cookies has not been modified since. In 1998 Kraft also obtained Kosher certification for Oreo which until then contained lard.

The Global Oreo product portfolio consists of various combinations and flavours of the original vanilla filled cookies which are the highest selling and most popular.

Some of the other products under the Oreo portfolio are

  • Double Stuffed Oreos – twice the filling;
  • Golden Oreo – vanilla wafers instead of chocolate wafers;
  • Mini Oreos- bite sized versions of Oreo
  • Chocolate Crème Oreo – chocolate filling instead of vanilla
  • Sugar Free Oreo – Trace amounts of sugar, but cost twice as much

Most of the Oreo ads are made in various local languages in respective countries, but all of them have a common theme. One of the popular ad campaigns shows a father- son or a father-daughter relationship where the kid is trying to teach the parent how to eat an Oreo cookie.

Kraft has made sure to leverage social media to further Oreo’s reach and increase user engagement. Oreo’s facebook page has more that 25 million subscribers. This page is updated with posts, photos, recipes and Birthday of the Day as part of its 100th Year celebrations. The official Oreo site also does enough in terms of engaging users by sharing recipes, and allowing users to play games.

But as Vineet Nayar, CEO, HCLT says in his book, ‘Employees First, Customers Second’, however attractive the 4P’s may be, they cannot make up for the lack of engagement, execution, commitment and close relationships. This is where Oreo has scored with its brand communication “Twist-Lick-Dunk” which is unique in spite of the cookie being sold in more than 100 countries.

In a 1981 article titled "Creative Eating: The Oreo Syndrome," folk historian Elizabeth Mosby Adler says that Oreo also owes its popularity to the fact that it allows users to bring in their own personal style to eating.

This philosophy of ‘Twist-Lick-Dunk’ has helped Oreo in multiple ways. Firstly it has managed to position Oreo more than a cookie and as a snack or a sandwich.  This allows the users to engage with the product. Secondly by associating itself with something as healthy as milk, Kraft has created a positive and healthy image around the Oreo cookie and especially in the minds of the mothers.

Oreo has even inspired a cookbook, toy racing cars, special edition Oreo Barbie dolls and various Oreo recipes.

Overall, Oreo is an iconic brand with millions of fans around the world and none of its competitors’ products imitation of the Oreo cookie beats the original “Uh Oh Oreo”.

This article has been authored by Ricky Sundrani from NMIMS.

Views expressed in the article are personal. The articles are for educational & academic purpose only, and have been uploaded by the MBA Skool Team.

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