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GOLD WINNER: Oreo — How Do You Eat an Oreo?
French-Canadian Style

Oreo — How Do You Eat an Oreo? French-Canadian Style

Client: Kraft Canada, Oreo

Entrant Company: Starcom MediaVest Toronto

Entry Category: A local brand or service in a local market with innovative solutions worthy of international adaptation or of world class standards.

Names to be credited with submission:
• Terry Chang — VP, Investment Director, MediaVest Worldwide
• Jonathan Wood — Strategy Planner, MediaVest Worldwide
• Jamie Tomlinson — Investment Manager, MediaVest Worldwide
• Sandra Cifersons — Director Consumer Communications, Kraft Canada
• Nancy Bolli — Sales, TVA

Time Period of Campaign: 2008

Case Study Summary:

Marketing Situation: Despite a consistent #1 category share of voice, Oreo was experiencing declining sales in French Canada. Consumers in Quebec were beginning to exhibit a preference for both local and imported cookie options. The French adaptation of current Oreo English TV creative was testing poorly, but new creative was not feasible for the budget. The challenge was to reverse the decline and rebuild local relevance during the critical back-to-school window.

Key Insights: French Canadian generally reward marketers who speak to them in a local voice with respect for their distinct culture. The solution was to partner with Quebec’s largest French-language multi-media owner (TVA) and capitalize on the childhood memories and rituals of eating an Oreo cookie. This included making Oreos and its unique Twist-Lick-Dunk eating method the star of a television show, while also developing a forum that allowed French Canadian to showcase their own storytelling associated with the cookie brand.

Media Strategy: Branded entertainment was at the core of the campaign; the Oreo cookie-milk ritual was integrated into a prime-time French Canadian soap opera through scripted Oreo content in key scenes, along with sponsorship and in-program commercial elements. A break-through sponsorship billboard featured an Oreo being twisted open so that the name of the series appeared on the cookie cream.

A promotion also invited consumers to create and upload videos of their personal Oreo stories to a Oreo micro-site. Messages to encourage participation appeared online, on-air, in print, in-store and at a leading family amusement park. Weekly winners were chosen by an online vote, while their user-generated content was aired in primetime. Employing user-generated content and online video as both entry and prize components was a breakthrough concept in Quebec.

How Could this be a Template for Other Campaigns or for World Class Standards? When existing creative is not an effective option, collaborations between a media agency and a broadcaster can lead to innovative problem-solving. Though-leadership from a media agency means taking advantage of emerging trends in media and popular culture.

Results: The campaign exceeded all expectations for business results and consumer engagement during the 12 week promotional period. Sales increased substantially and reversed YTD negative trends. The promotion also surpassed TVA benchmarks for video submissions and generated unsolicited PR coverage on morning TV and in newspapers.