Mondelez’ Oreo brand one tough cookie, mobile analysis reveals

By Michael Barris

May 26, 2015

Twitter users rejoiced at unveiling of Red Velvet Oreos.

While Oreo’s always-on mobile presence has made the likeable Mondelez International cookie one of the few fast-moving consumer goods brands to successfully leverage the smartphone boom, its challenge — and opportunity — lies in converting more of that brand love into direct sales, a Mobile Marketer analysis suggests.

The 103-year-old sandwich cookie remains a consumer favorite in the 21st century thanks to its integrated ecosystem which supports crucial mobile touch points such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and successful mobile gaming applications. But its key task in the future will be finding ways to more effectively convert its fandom into purchase, perhaps through integrating a buy-now button within its powerful mobile channels and innovative creative work.

“There is a limited amount of technology around buy-now functionality, but this is not to say that Oreo could have better leveraged the high peaks of traffic to purchase,” said Melissa Greenberg, the New York-based general manager at mobile advertising agency Fetch.

“Although this is an oversight on mobile, it can now be seen as a massive opportunity.”

Deerfield, IL-based Mondelez did not respond to media inquiries about Oreo’s mobile evolution.

Mobile site

Oreo’s direct sales likely will get a boost from Mondelez’s intention to convert its digital media into shoppable ads with buy-now buttons.

A big oversight for Oreo is that it still does not have a mobile-optimized site.

“Creating a mobile optimized site is not very difficult and it makes a huge difference in the user experience,” said Shuli Lowy, marketing director for mobile with Ping Mobile. “Over 65 percent of consumers will immediately leave a site if it isn’t mobile optimized.

Mobile video ads in 2012 campaign.

“This is a pretty elementary oversight and we’d expect more of any CPG — particularly one managed by Mondelez,” she said. “It’s 2015 and most companies are operating with a mobile-first approach — Oreo ought to get with the program.”

Oreo’s success rests on its ability to construct a well-structured, reactive integrated ecosystem that includes key mobile touchpoints.

Its framework includes Twitter, with 640,000 followers, Facebook, with 40 million likes, Instagram, with 525,000 followers, Vine, with 46,000,000 followers and successful mobile gaming apps such as Catch the Oreo and Twist, Lick Dunk.

“Oreo’s mobile presence is always on, topical, brand relevant, beautifully designed and always in the right tone, making it one of the only FMCG brands that has successfully leveraged the smartphone boom,” Ms. Greenberg said.

The brand’s resourceful response to the power outage that plunged Super Bowl XLVII into the dark for 34 minutes in 2013 tells you why it remains top of mind for so many cookie lovers, including millennials who resist traditional advertising approaches.

During that third-quarter blackout at one of the world’s most-watched sporting events, the cookie brand’s alert social media team tweeted an ad that read “Power Out? No problem” with an image of an Oreo and the caption, “You can still dunk in the dark.”

The message triggered 16,000 retweets and more than 20,000 likes on Facebook. It was also posted on Tumblr by digg, with the note “Oreo won the Super Bowl blackout.”

Huge success

“Oreo’s ecosystem of creatives, real time media, resources and large Twitter fan base fused with a piece of mobile creative that was both relevant and real-time was the underpinning reason for its huge success,” Ms. Greenberg said.

Besides generating thousands of retweets, Oreo’s attentive move picked up huge amounts of organic PR.

Driving engagement in China via emojis last year.

Oreo’s China emoji campaign is another example of its daring mobile approach, the hallmarks of which are resisting using standard banner units on mobile and remaining open to new approaches and ad formats. Campaigns consistently include a level of involvement from the consumer to tap, scroll, pinch or flick.

The China campaign tapped into the insight of parents working long hours and not spending time with their children.

“The idea was an innovative mobile social campaign that gave parents a way to take photos of themselves and their children offline and paste their heads into branded emoji’s,” Ms. Greenberg said. “This created a newfound visual bond and was shared through mobile.

“Oreo’s daring nature allowed them to generate over 99 million unique branded emoji’s by leveraging local popular social messaging apps Weibo and WeChat,” she said. “But most importantly they were measurably daring by experimenting with a new creative approach that embraced mobile behaviors.”

Proactive approach

Oreo’s proactive approach to gamified mobile experiences is another strength.

Understanding that its target audience is young and mobile savvy, the brand has developed several Oreo-focused mobile games including Catch the Oreo and Twist, Lick and Dump.

“The branded apps provide an entertaining method through which consumers continuously re-engage with the brand,” Ms. Lowy said.

Oreo’s recent partnership with Paramount Pictures to incorporate themes from the Transformers into its game speaks to the brand’s commitment to staying current and relevant to its audience.

“In order to keep consumers coming back to an app there needs to be a sense of renewal within it,” Ms. Lowy said. “Quality content that’s refreshed plays a vital role in driving people back into a game.”

In the years ahead, Oreo’s biggest opportunity will be in forming partnerships and arranging a two-way dialogue with consumers.

“Partnerships with brands such as Zipcar and Paramount Pictures will continue to help the brand expand its visibility as well as remain current with its audience base,” Ms. Lowy said.

“Oreo has been encouraging fans to share brand related content with its #playwithoreo campaign. Continuing to build that two-way dialogue will ensure Oreo remains the likeable cookie company that it is.”

Mobile video

Another opportunity for the brand lies in programmatic mobile video linked to direct sales.

Generating social media buzz with Red Velvet Oreos.

“Oreo’s fantastic supportive ecosystem behind mobile and belief as a brand now in programmatic within digital video opens new pathways for more innovative and hyper targeted creative work,” Ms. Greenberg said.

“If Oreo can continue to maintain their friendly, tongue-in-cheek, non-intrusive presence and can begin to personalize their messages on the growing avenues that exist on mobile, then this is a recipe for continued success and even stronger brand loyalty.”

Final Take

Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York

Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.

Originally published at