OREO SUPPORT HIKED; GOAL IS TO DOUBLE SALES: AS PART OF 3-YEAR PLAN, NABISCO FUNDING NEW ADS, PROMOS IN '97

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Nabisco Biscuit Co. will ratchet up marketing on its best-selling Oreo cookie over the next three years in an ambitious plan to double sales for the 85-year-old brand.

Nabisco President James Postl said the company will start by significantly hiking marketing spending this year as it seeks to increase Oreo sales 100% to $1 billion by the turn of the century.

10% SPENDING INCREASE?

Company executives wouldn't quantify the spending increase, believed to be at least 10%. Nabisco spent only $9 million on measured media for Oreo during the first nine months of 1996, but Oreo still enjoyed a 17% volume gain last year.

The bulk of this year's increase will go into two new ad campaigns and two consumer promotions.

The first advertising, themed "Only Oreo," begins March 2 with TV commercials, a free-standing insert and in-store merchandising.

The spots encourage consumers to tell Nabisco about their favorite Oreo moments; the winning moments will be featured in subsequent advertising in the fall. Consumers enter via an 800-number in the spots and can submit videos, essays, photos or audiotapes. The FSI dropping March 2 also offers details.

Two commercials from Foote, Cone & Belding, New York, show kids enjoying their Oreo moments.

One depicts a child sloshing two glasses of milk wildly as he tries to carry them and a package of Oreos with the voice-over, "Only one cookie is worth all this." The other shows kids twisting open the cookies, scraping out the filling and replacing the empty Oreo in the cookie jar, or wearing Oreo wafers as eyeglasses.

SPRING FLING

The second Oreo ad push, which Nabisco Senior VP-Marketing Elizabeth Culligan said breaks within a few weeks, will support Spring Oreo, a seasonal version of the cookie with a blue filling. The commercial, running on children's TV only, pairs the new pastel shade with the company's Nabisco Thing spokescharacter.

The promotional calendar includes in-store advertising for an "Only Oreo" stacking contest in 15,000 grocery stores, mass merchandisers and warehouse clubs. Kids in two age categories will compete to stack the largest number of Oreos in 30 seconds.

The winners of the contest, held June 23 to Aug. 3, will go to a finals competition at Universal Studios in Florida. At that event, $1 million will be offered to anyone who can stack 85 Oreos in 85 seconds.

The winner of the second Oreo promotion, a recipe contest for kids, will receive

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