Oreo makes customized cookie flavours for some Twitter users

Flavour contest gets a profile boost on social media

Mondelez generated some valuable free media the past few weeks for its Oreo cookies thanks to a clever social media marketing stunt.

In early May, the brand introduced Firework Oreo, a limited edition flavour with popping candy in the cream (or crème, as Mondelez calls it) filling available in the U.S. and Canada. At the same time Mondelez launched a contest that invited Oreo fans in the U.S. to suggest the next limited edition Oreo creation and share the ideas on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #MyOreoCreation.

“Our newest limited edition flavour got us thinking – if we can create a Firework Oreo cookie, what else could we create? And who better to ask than those who are already sharing their flavour and creation ideas,” said Madeline Vincent, brand manager, Oreo, in a release that introduced the contest.

Three finalists will see their ideas made by Mondelez and sold nationwide next May. Fans will then vote for their favourite, with the ultimate winner taking home $500,000.

While the idea of asking customers to suggest new flavours isn’t new—Lays has been doing it for years including here in Canada, for example—the campaign was well-designed to get a lot of attention: a comprehensible hashtag around a well-known and beloved product that gave people a chance to create something to share with their followers. But Mondelez gave the campaign some extra energy by producing some of the outlandish ideas—cherry cola, kettle corn, glazed donut, unicorn—and sending them to the person who came up with the idea. By mid-June posts started to appear on social media from the impressed fans happy to show-off their one-of-a-kind creations. Not long after, media outlets from Huffington Post to the New York Times were doing stories about the campaign and Oreo’s different flavours.

In Canada, Mondelez has been selling the Firework Oreos, but Canadians weren’t eligible for the contest (entry deadline was Friday) and likely won’t see the new limited edition flavours when they hit shelves.

Canadian Oreo envy has been an issue for a while, with some consumers curious why the U.S. gets more—and more bizarre—limited edition flavours.

According to the New York Times, Oreo releases between 10 and 14 limited edition flavours each year.

“We have introduced many of the same new flavours in both Canada and the U.S. including S’mores, Pumpkin Spice and Apple Pie,” said Stephanie Minna Cass of Mondelez Canada. Firework Oreos were introduced “in celebration of summer,” she said with other flavours coming for the autumn and holiday seasons. However, she said the U.S. gets more of the special edition flavours.

"Given the size of the markets between the U.S. and Canada, it makes sense that there would be a few more flavour varieties in the U.S. than Canada," she said.

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