“Oreo: Milk’s Favorite Cookie.” Just the slogan alone makes you want to rush to the grocery store, grab a family-sized package of double-stuffed Oreos and a gallon of milk, and settle down with your favorite movie for a night of pure relaxation.
Is it the cookie that makes you feel this way or the public relations team behind it?
Regardless, individuals aspiring to work in the field of public relations can learn a thing or two about Oreo’s public relations team. The brand, celebrating its 101st birthday this year, recently blossomed from just another brand on the shelf to World’s Most ‘Liked’ Cookie on Facebook. How can this be? Easy. Dunk your Oreos into a glass of milk and check out the
five reasons why Oreo is PR’s favorite brand.
1) Once you have a brand identity, keep it. Oreo has made a name for itself. When one thinks about Oreo, they naturally tend to think about milk. Oreos and milk has become a popular dessert preference and for good reason. Not only is the combination genius, but so is the branding idea. When trying to create a brand, ask yourself: Who are you and what do you do? For Oreo, the answer is simple: I am Oreo and I am Milk’s Favorite Cookie. Once you’ve discovered who you want to be, sticking to it is critical. In the world of public relations, being unique is synonymous with staying consistent. Keeping your brand identity doesn’t have to be boring, but to be successful, confidently and constantly sticking to who you are is extremely important.
2) Social media can be your friend. Social media, a popular way brands reach their audiences, can be particularly useful. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vine… the list goes on and on. With so many choices, one might wonder how to ‘stick out from the crowd’ and make an impact. For Oreo, interactive sites like Facebook and Twitter prove to be the most successful because the sites allow Oreo to post witty pictures of its products. However, just because Oreo joined Facebook, doesn’t necessarily mean your brand should, too. Where are your fans? Are they on Facebook or are most of them on YouTube or Vine? Social Media can be a useful tool, but only if used in a wise and purposeful way. Figure out what works for your brand and use it to your advantage.
3) Listen to your audience. Oreo does a great job of this. Once you figure out where your audience is, connect with them. By joining Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, Oreo quickly became its fans’ best friend. The company created smart-phone apps, YouTube videos, downloadable songs, and online games. Why did it do all of this? Oreo’s audience requested it. If you want to be heard, you must also listen. What does your audience want and what are they saying about you? Just like in a personal friendship, you must listen to your audience’s desires and take them into consideration. Figure out what they want and make it work.
4) Keep your message “with the times.” Although keeping a consistent brand is critical, adjusting the actual message is necessary. Oreo repeatedly excels at this. When the lights suddenly went out during the 2013 Super Bowl, Oreo immediately posted a picture on its social media outlets with a caption that read: “You can still dunk in the dark.” The brand stayed consistent (Oreo is Milk’s Favorite Cookie), but the message appeared at a time when it would be most understood. If Oreo had waited until after the game to post the picture, the message would have been pointless and unmemorable. Stick out from the crowd, think quickly, and stay current.
5) Have a personality. Be professional, but be personal. Celebrate the little joys in life. One way Oreo does this is through creative and fun-natured contests. A recent contest it held focused around funny pictures of pets. The company called it: Oreo Pet Show. Fans submitted pictures of their adorable pets, Oreo picked its favorites, and fellow Twitter followers and Facebook fans voted on their favorites. Oreo took a break from promoting itself and focused on its fans. The contest not only gave Oreo visibility as a brand, but it also portrayed that the company didn’t have to be “all business all the time.”
Through staying innovative and taking advantage of social media, it’s easy to see why Oreo has developed into a desirable (and delicious) brand. By sticking to its identity, listening to its audience, and keeping up with current events, Oreo has simultaneously become the cookie of preference and the genius of public relations.