CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Kraft wants Oreo lovers to go ahead and play with their food, despite what mom says.
The cookies, which have been dunked and twisted for years, can now be flipped, just like a coin, according to a star-filled campaign for "Heads or Tails" Double Stuf Oreos that recently began airing.
One TV ad features NFL star Eli Manning flipping an Oreo in the air while seated at a table with Shaquille O' Neal.
The commercials are part of Oreo's larger "Double Stuf Racing League" campaign by Interpublic Group of Cos.' DraftFCB that also stars Olympic short-track speed skater Apolo Ohno and tennis player Venus Williams. The team battles a mysterious "hooded menace" -- another celebrity that Oreo says it will unmask in January -- while an interactive "twist it" Facebook game offers the chance for 10 fans to meet the stars in person.
Oreo's Facebook page touts nearly 11 million fans. The brand is seeking additional exposure by having the athletes tweet about the cookies -- all except Mr. Manning, who doesn't have a Twitter account.
The effort seeks to "take the celebrated ritual of the Oreo cookie in milk and recreate it and capture it in a fun way that would connect with people," said Kraft spokesman Basil Maglaris.
Food industry analyst Harry Balzer said consumers are "always looking for new versions of the things we've always done."
"Cookies and children and milk and dipping and dunking have been going on for a long time," said Mr. Balzer, VP at NPD Group. "This might just be a new variation of [that] involvement with your food."
Other heavily promoted food-as-toy promotions in recent years include Procter & Gamble's "Pringles Prints," which featured fun facts and trivia printed directly on the chips. The product was introduced in 2004, but has since been discontinued, the company said.
General Mills is still selling Fruit Roll-Ups that leave tattoos on the tongue. A version featuring Halloween tattoos will hit stores soon, the company said.