Last year, in celebrating its centennial with the Daily Twist effort, Oreo encouraged consumers to look at the cookie a little differently. Now, with its new "Wonderfilled" campaign out of The Martin Agency, the brand wants them to see the rest of the world with a new sense of awe. This weekend, Oreo debuted a cheery, animated 90-second spot set to a catchy twee track showing how historically morbid figures--the Big Bad Wolf, a blood-sucking vampire--take a turn for the bright, with the help of an Oreo cookie.
"It starts with a very simple premise, about how something as small as an Oreo cookie can bring about a positive change in perspective," said Janda Lukin, Director, Oreo at Mondelez International, Inc.
That certainly was the case with the spot's debut on Sunday -- during an episode of one of the television's darker shows, AMC's Mad Men. "We thought about how we could get high impact placement, where there was a very loyal viewership that's also very engaged in social," said Ms. Lukin.
Moreover, the show's adult audience is exactly the demo Oreo wanted to attract, said Ms. Lukin. "Kids already have a sense of wonder in how they see the world, but adults have to be reminded of that. The stories are going to resonate with different people, but overall, it's an adult campaign."
"Wonderfilled" continues a theme evident in the brand's work over the last year- -from Daily Twist to the cookie-vs.-creme spots out of Wieden + Kennedy Portland. "Oreo as a brand has a very clear point of view in terms of seeing the world with openness and curiosity," Ms. Lukin said. "'Wonderfilled' sees that world in that same lens."
But the latest push may be the cookie's most ambitious move -- to command a more "iconic" brand presence like that of a Nike or a Coke. "Oreo is the biggest cookie in the world, and it was occupying a space too small for its stature," said Martin Agency CD Magnus Hierta. "We believe this campaign has limitless possibilities in terms of stories you can tell," said Ms. Lukin. "The anthem gives an idea of where we will be heading."
The spot's playful tune was written by Martin Agency creative director Dave Muhlenfeld, who's also composed music and lyrics for the agency's campaigns for FreeCreditReport.com, Xfinity and Walmart. To perform it, the agency tapped indie artist Adam Young, aka OwlCity, chosen specifically for how his point of view meshed with Oreo's vibe. "One thing we're definitely not trying to do is to make music to make it cooler, or for street cred," said Mr. Muhlenfeld. "We needed an artist who's going to be as uncynical as Oreo itself. It had to feel honest and fun." The song will serve as the campaign's backbone, of sorts, and the brand plans to bring in other types of artists of different genres to reinterpret the tune for new executions.
Same goes for the visuals. "We've been looking for artists who have a certain perspective," said Mr. Hierta. "We wanted someone who could communicate that warm message, someone who wasn't overpolished." Hierta had been a longtime fan of Barcelona-based animator/designer Martin Allais, the anthem's director, and for an accompanying 30-second spot, the agency commissioned L.A. based Royale.
As part of the campaign launch, today Mondelez brought Oreo's wonder to New York City and tapped about 500 college a cappella singers to rouse New York commuters at various subway stops out of their morning stupor with their own renditions of the "Wonderfilled" theme. "Not a flash mob, but more like Christmas carolers," said Mr. Muhlenfeld. The brand capped off the event in a group singalong with Owl City in Union Square. To continue the momentum in social media, Oreo has released a series of Vine clips on Twitter capturing bits of the event, and later this week more Oreo musical crews will descend on Chicago and Los Angeles.
"The idea is that the brand is behaving the way it's preaching," said Mr. Hierta. "The song asks a lot for an Oreo, but it's trying to put its money where its mouth is, with work that lives up to that task."
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