How Interface Communications’ #PlayWithOreo Helped Oreo Woo Teens And Increase Sales By 6%

Case study by Interface Communications for Oreo in which the agency took a phased approach to help the cookie brand shed off its kiddy image and become more relevant to teens and young adults

play with oreo

The Client

World’s No 1. Cookie – Oreo, launched in India in the year 2012. The brand has since attained a prominent position in the vast fragmented biscuits category and has gone on to become one of the top premium cream biscuit brands in India.

The Agency

Interface Communications, a part of the FCB Ulka Group, is one of the fastest growing agencies in India. The agency offers full service capabilities with end-to-end creative and digital solutions. Credited with handling big brands like Nivea, Oreo, Mahindra, Con-Agra, Blue Star etc.; the agency has an enviable list of clients and works across multiple sectors. It has won numerous awards for its creative and strategic effectiveness.

Problem Statement

Kids are the largest consumers of cream biscuits and majority of the cream biscuit brands communicate only with them. Oreo was no exception, household with kids (6-12 yrs) accounted for 70% of sales for Oreo. Cream biscuits category was witnessing slow growth, but Oreo had high ambitions. Oreo wanted to achieve incremental growth and fast; and hence decided to bring in new consumers to the category.

Oreo decided to up-age the brand by going after the next rung of consumers – Teens and Young Adults – The 2nd largest consumer segment for Oreo which the brand had never really focused on and was also under leveraged by the category.

A story of But’s: Qualitative research showed us, this TG consumed Oreo often – but – only when it came home through their younger siblings. Teens and young adults loved Oreo, but they never really asked for it, as they considered the brand to be ‘For kids only’ because of the kiddy perception it had acquired over the years.

The Issue: How can Oreo shed its kiddy image and make itself relevant and appealing to Teens and Young adults? We decided to speak to them on a platform where they were the most accessible and receptive – Social Media.

Identified objectives

  • Quantifiable: Increase sales volume by 5%
  • Behavioral: Move from ‘Brand for kids’ to ‘My brand’ amongst Teens and Young Adults (Increase the TGs engagement with the brand)

The Strategy/Execution

During conversations with Teens and Young Adults, we realized they always kept going back to fun moments they had in the past. This was because, growing up, their lives had become increasingly boring, monotonous and regimented, which left no scope for fun and playfulness.

This gave us an opportunity to become relevant to them by fulfilling a latent need in their lives i.e. bringing back fun and play – something that they missed!

The question facing us was, how do we bring play in their lives in a way that would appeal to them.

We developed the Social Media Interest Analyzer Model (SIAM) which analyzed conversations on Social Media to bring out the top interest categories that prevailed among this TG. Contrary to the belief that a particular age group would think and behave in a similar manner and hence have similar interests, SIAM revealed an interesting consumer learning.

Teens and Young Adults had interests that spanned a spectrum; from something like travelling that takes a person around the world to Doodling that puts the world on page. We realized one interest area would not ensure cut through for the entire TG and hence went ahead to identify the multiple areas of interest for them.

The interest buds we discovered were:

  • Music and Dance
  • Photography
  • Art
  • Travel and Adventure
  • Dreamy and Imaginative

We decided to use these areas as entry points into their lives and spread the spirit of fun and play in a way that would interest them the most!

The understanding of our TG’s interests helped us design a one-to-one program instead of a mass program to sharp focus our communication and build relevance.

Keeping in mind our consumer learning coupled with our consumer life insight we came up with – #PlaywithOreo.

#PlaywithOreo was a platform that encouraged them to look beyond the dreariness of everyday life and inspired playfulness, imagination and participation to explore the many possibilities in the ordinary while making Oreo a token of Play!

Each interest bud transpired in a way to #PlaywithOreo:

  • Music and Dance: Became #PopIt and #PlayIt
  • Photography: Became #ClickIt
  • Art: Became: #DoodleIt
  • Travel and Adventure: Became: #FlyIt
  • Dreamy and Imaginative: Became #ImagineIt

This ensured that we reached all Teenagers and Young adults, as at least one of the above categories interested each person in our TG.

We phased our launch in 4 stages:

Introduce

  • We introduced the idea of ‘Play with Oreo’ to our TG through a TVC
  • We populated social media platforms with popularly consumed content formats like Visuals, GIFs to familiarize our TG with the concept of #PlaywithOreo

PlaywithOreo visuals

Attract

  • Created web films to demonstrate how consumers could bring back spontaneity and fun in their lives with Oreo. Eg: For #DoodleIt we put out a web film that showed a girl Doodle around an Oreo etc.
  • These videos also invited them to join the play and show us how they #PlaywithOreo

Engage

  • Ran contests designed around our TGs interests to get them to engage with us and bring some fun in their lives with Oreo

Amplify

  • Developed a virtual #PlaywithOreo wall on PlaywithOreo.com where we curated not only Oreo’s depiction of #PlaywithOreo, but also entries sent in by fans and followers. This content was shareable on all popular social media platform

Results

  • Quantifiable: Avg. Volume sales during campaign period (Apr ’15 – Sep ‘15) grew by 6% compared to pre-campaign period (Oct ’14 – Mar ‘15)
  • Behavioral:We showed our fans new ways to #PlaywithOreo and in return they showed us many more! Teens and Young adults accepted us with open arms! We achieved a phenomenal reach of 25 Mn+ delivered at a frequency of 2+ with 101 Mn+ impressions and 9.2Mn video views.
  • Facebook:
    • Added 1Lakh+ fans on Facebook
    • 71mn+ impressions
    • Engagement Rate of 1.42%
    • Views 57k
    • CTR 3%
    • #1 Biscuit Brand In India
    • Featured Among  top 5 FMCG Brands in India
  • Twitter:
    • Added approx. 950 followers on Twitter
    • 1.9mn+ impressions
    • Engagement Rate of 6.01%
    • Views 22k
    • Achieved 27k mentions through approx. 2500 users
    • #PlayWithOreo and #DoodleIt Trended on India Trends
    • #3 Biscuit Brand in India
  • Video Platforms (YouTube, Programmatic):
    • Approx. Impressions 11mn
    • Views:  8.6mn
    • View Rate: 78%
    • Among top 5 FMCG Brands in India
    • #1 Biscuit Brand in India on YouTube
  • Banners:
    • 16mn impressions
    • CTR 1%

    Source: Media Data and Social Bakers (Ranking Basis number of fans on Facebook, number of followers on Twitter, number of uploaded video views on YouTube) captured during campaign period

    The campaign generated tremendous PR coverage online on Afaqs, Lighthouse Insights, Social Samosa, ScoopWhoop, Miss Malini.

    Brands like Ola Cabs, Taxiforsure, Allen Solly, PayUMoney, 9XO and many more jumped in and joined the Play!

Observations/Lessons

All competitive digital models assume that each individual in a particular TG would behave in the same way as any other individual in the same group.

Our research showed us that a TG defined by demographics is not a Homogenous sect. Such a TG is comprised of individuals with distinct mindsets.

Traditional digital marketing models fail to recognize and address the heterogeneity within a TG and address the group through a singular theme, hence making it inefficient in its attempt to appeal to every individual in the TG.

Our insight was that Heterogeneity is at the core of the TG behavior and so, any successful marketing model requires to take into account distinct mindsets within a TG to formulate a one-to-one strategy rather than a mass communication strategy.