Oreo: The Little Cookie That Could

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Posted: September 3, 2014, 2:29 p.m.
by Katie Foster Howard.

Coke vs. Pepsi, Apple vs. Microsoft, Nike vs. Adidas. These three brand wars have been raging in the past decades, and the entrance of social media marketing has made it a downright blood bath. However, there is one little cookie that goes unscathed.

No one seems to compete with Oreo. Its combination of two chocolate wafers smushed together with creme filling is a brand that other snack food companies don’t dare recreate. So one might think that Oreo would let its cookies sell themselves. One would be very wrong.

Oreo helms one of the most innovative and engaging social media presences, covering Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest with goofy and endearing, but most importantly, shareable content. Here are some lessons we can learn from those dunkable, little cookies.

Think outside the cookie tin.
At this year’s South By Southwest Music Conference and Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, Oreo unleashed its “Trending Vending” machine — a 3D printer that created customized Oreos in under two minutes. So what does that have to do with social media? According to People’s Lab, “The machine allowed people to choose a Twitter trend they wanted to ‘taste,’ and an algorithm analyzed the sentiment, recency, relevance and geography of the trend to produce a custom design.” Sound like sorcery? Take a look at where the magic happens.

Stop thinking “formula” — start thinking “visual storytelling.”
Check out Oreo’s Pinterest board History Through Oreo and you’ll see historical events told through witty manipulations of the cookie. Or check out Oreo’s Facebook page to watch a video campaign starring Oreo Minis that resembles a Wes Anderson short film. Oreo understands that with such a rapid succession of posts, people care about interesting visuals that tell stories more than lines of information.

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Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Not every brand you represent will be the most-loved cookie in America. That’s not just my opinion — it’s a fact. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun with your social media presence! Take a page from Oreo’s book and try something silly like its Oreo Magic Tricks using Vine, or let Twitter be an outlet where you code emoji messages to your followers.

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Even if you’re considered a serious/non-cookie brand, humanize your social media outlets and make interacting with your brand enjoyable.

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