Home Blog Case Studies|Content Strategy Is Oreo really the brilliant marketers everyone thinks they are?

Is Oreo really the brilliant marketers everyone thinks they are?


Oreo. Say the brand name in a room for of marketers these days and you’ll quickly hear words like “OMG– love”, “real-time marketing experts” and “brilliant marketers.”


And I’ve been one of those people singing their praises in the past. I love some of the content marketing Oreo has done on Facebook, specifically.

But, this MediaBistro post put me over the edge. And this AdAge post is just plain ridiculous. Both were the result of a quippy exchange between Oreo and Kit Kat a couple weeks back.

Oreo Kit Kat

If you’ll remember, Oreo has been rather adept at navigating these Twitter comebacks. Remember the AMC Theater back-and-forth?

Oreo AMC

Yes, Oreo has done some ground-breaking things when it comes to content marketing online and even “real-time marketing”, if you want to use that label. Maybe most importantly they’ve built a model with Nabisco where they can move and create content and responses in a very agile and fast-moving way–that’s definitely nothing to slough off as I have yet to see a lot of brands do this well.

But, should we really be ready to crown them (or their agency) as the greatest marketers to ever walk the earth?

I’m not so sure.

We’ve become so entirely swept up in the real-time marketing/quippy Twitter responses hype engine–and we have no proof any of this is actually working (outside of the top-line social metrics we can all see, which isn’t much).

Look back at those MediaBistro and AdAge articles–is this what constitutes “successful” marketing online these days?

And all this, for what? Because Oreo provided a couple clever responses to KitKat’s equally as clever a response? Again, this is what serves as “success” now in terms of marketing online?

I think the entire internet just threw up in its mouth a little.

Like I said before, I thought some of Oreo’s prior content marketing efforts were fairly smart. Building unique visual content that plays off the product itself? Leveraging useless holidays to create a conversation and awareness around Oreo? Even the Super Bowl post, to an extent. Those were smart strategies to build brand for Oreo online.

But, this Twitter chit-chat stuff with Kit-Kat (and before, AMC Theaters)? I just don’t see it as “brilliant marketing.” I see it as clever tweet writing. Nothing more. Nothing less.

For all the cool back-and-forths, what has Oreo really accomplished? Sure, these exchanges have gotten the brand a fair amount of press. And I’m sure they impact volume and sentiment since they usually lead to a number of RTs and replies. But, did all this sell more cookies or build markedly more awareness for the brand? Of course, we don’t know because we aren’t Oreo or its agency.

So what do you think? Is Oreo really the brilliant marketers everyone has labeled them to be? Love a lot of what they’ve done, but I’m not ready to crown them just yet…



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