The push comes after a somewhat tough year for the cookie, which
turns 105 years old in March. Oreo continues to be the top-selling
cookie both in the United States and globally, with worldwide sales
of nearly $2.9 billion in 2015.
However, U.S. dollar sales of the main Oreo line declined 8.9%
to nearly $710.6 million in the 52 weeks ended Jan. 22, while sales
of the thicker Double Stuf variety fell nearly 4.9% to $268.2
million, according to data from Chicago-based market research firm
IRI. Still, there is some strong growth: the newer Oreo Thins line
soared nearly 131% to $125.2 million, IRI data show.
The focus on the art of the dunk comes after a 2016 global
campaign, "Open Up with Oreo," which had a togetherness message. In
North America, the scale of the dunk campaign is larger than it was
for "Open Up," Ms. Gonzalez said. U.S. measured media spending on
Oreo was $41.5 million from January through November 2016, up from
$27.4 million for all of 2015, according to Kantar Media.
The global effort begins in the United States and is set to hit
more than 50 markets in the first half of 2017, with variations
depending on what each market chooses to do.
"The question we asked ourselves is how do we really bring the
dunk into culture? How do we make it accessible everywhere?" Ms.
Gonzalez said of the push in North America.
The sweepstakes, in which people submit dunk photos or videos
with #oreodunksweepstakes on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter,
includes chances to meet Mr. O'Neal in New York or Ms. Aguilera in
Los Angeles. Even without prizes, Oreo sees fans celebrating the
dunking ritual on social media, posting images of their own dunks.
"More consumers than you would think know it and do it," Ms.
Gonzalez said. And, of course, Oreo itself played up the dunking
ritual to much acclaim during the blackout at the Super Bowl in
TV commercials take dunking to extreme art forms. Mr. O'Neal
(above) appears to be acrobatically twirling down silk ropes, while
Ms. Aguilera (below) is seemingly riding a bicycle on a tightrope
before her dunk.
Neymar's dunk (below) sticks with the circus theme and involves
a high-altitude trampoline experience.
The campaign includes some new plans for Oreo. Wednesday's event
at New York's Chelsea Market, the site of the original Nabisco
bakery where Oreos were first made, includes using "brain computer
interface technology that essentially tracks levels of
concentration," Ms. Gonzalez said. Those who reach a certain
concentration threshold will be able to move an Oreo, without
touching it, toward a glass of milk. People can try to challenge
Mr. O'Neal, the retired NBA star, in an Oreo dunking contest.
On Feb. 12, Oreo will have its first-ever Snapchat lens, which
includes a cookie diving. Oreo has planned a collaboration with
Google for a global digital
mobile dunking experience later in February that Ms. Gonzalez was
hesitant to discuss in detail. The Oreo dunk message will also be
promoted by digital influencers and media brands, including
appearances on ABC shows including "Live with Kelly" and "Jimmy
Kimmel Live," and deals with BuzzFeed, Dude Perfect, Funny or Die
and iHeart Radio. In-store plans include games and cookie and milk
dunking activities, and graphics on Oreo packaging.
Martin Agency, 360i, Carat and Weber Shandwick are working with Oreo on the