Two kids. Two cultures. Oreo.

Off to a Good Start (SILVER)
Best Insight (BRONZE)

Client Credits: Kraft Canada
Chris Bell
Emma Voirin
Marco Massa

Agency Credits: DraftFCB
Christine McNab
Anabella Mandel
Robin Heisey
Jeff Hilts

Crossover Notes:
All winning cases contain lessons that cross over from one case to another. David Rutherford has been identifying these as Crossover Notes since CASSIES 1997. The full set for CASSIES 2013 can be downloaded from the Case Library section at

Crossover Note 1. What a Brand Stands For.
Crossover Note 2. Brand Truths.
Crossover Note 6. Should the product be improved?
Crossover Note 9. Turnarounds.
Crossover Note 16. When a campaign stumbles.

To see creative, click on the links that are embedded in the case.


MovingDay30HD.mp4 (11 MB)

Total 1105 Words


Business Results Period (Consecutive Months):April 2011 – December 2011
Start of Advertising/Communication Effort: April 18th, 2011
Base Period as a Benchmark: April 2010 to December 2010

a) Overall Assessment

For 100 years, Oreo has been a beloved brand with strong consumer engagement. With deep brand roots in family, connecting and sharing, Oreo consistently had been one of the top selling cookies in Canada.  However by 2010, with increasing competitive pressures, evolving food values, aging boomers leaving the franchise and slow adoption in new Canadian/multicultural households, this cookie’s baseline business was under pressure.

The time of Oreo as the Canadian family’s “old faithful” treat was waning. [Crossover Note 2] Canadians’ eating habits were shifting towards health-oriented snacking and label-checking, calorie-counting attitudes relegated Oreo to a “once in a while” indulgence.  The continuous launches of novelty treats added greater competition in this smaller “indulgence” occasion.  Since 2007, Oreo has been seeing baseline declines between -1% and -9% as year.  

Oreo’s communication efforts must align to a global campaign, which focuses on leveraging the emotional connection of people through the ritual of the “Twist, Lick and Dunk” of the cookie. [Crossover Note 1] Historically, this has been through a direct pickup of US creative. But by early 2011, despite adapting global best in class creative with strong test scores and proven effectiveness in other markets, it was not contributing significantly into sales in Canada (Source:Oreo Marketing Mix 2009 and 2010).   For the first time in over a decade, unique Canadian brand TV creative needed to be developed if the business was going to turn around. [Crossover Note 16]

The task at hand was clear: we had to breakthrough, re-establish relevance and re-charge the consumer to seal the leaky bucket.  We needed to uniquely connect with Canadians while maintaining the integrity of our global campaign. But with no product news, making this great change would be no easy feat. [Crossover Note 6]

b) Resulting Business Objectives

Develop best-in-class creative that connects to Canadians (norm to above average research scores) in order to increase purchase frequency. We needed to shift negative sales to positive sales. [Crossover Note 9]

c) Annual Media Budget

d) Geographic Area
National - English and French

a) Analysis and Insight

To successfully meet the objectives we embarked on this journey with one goal in mind: unearth a uniquely local, Canadian insight.

There was a clear need to bring greater Canadian relevance to the “Twist, Lick and Dunk” ritual and how it brings people together. Our planning process zeroed in on what makes Canadians unique.  Through research we learned that while Canadians are less openly nationalistic than citizens of many countries, we do have some very clear points of national pride. One centres on our country’s long standing multiculturalism and celebration of diversity: literally the bringing together of people from all over the world.  This turned out to be the key to reconnecting Oreo to our Canadian consumers.

b) Communication Strategy

The communication strategy was born out of bringing two insights together: The universal appeal of the “Twist, Lick and Dunk”, and Canadians’ embedded pride in their openness to other cultures. Interestingly, the venerability and ubiquity of the Oreo ritual that contributed to our “old faithful” perception had also made it a universal language – a relevant framing for a Canadian audience, particularly new Canadians. This became the inspiration for our first original Canadian Oreo brand spot in years, “Moving Day”, a story about two kids from different universes that come together – through a cookie.

a) Media Used


b) Creative Discussion

“Moving Day” shows a little boy welcoming a newly arrived boy to the neighbourhood with two glasses of milk and a bag of Oreos. While one only speaks English, and the other only Mandarin, it soon becomes clear that they speak the same language when it comes to the “Twist, Lick and Dunk”. The commercial ends with the global theme: “Only Oreo.”

We had to be very careful in our execution to reflect the reality of what a new Canadian family moving in would be bringing with them, how they would be dressed, and how they would interact with new neighbours in a new country. This allowed us to be insightful, respectful and relevant to our diverse Canadian population. 


Figure A

 Figure B1


c) Media Discussion

The media objective was set to reach a broad base of Canadians with our uniquely Canadian insight.  As such, the media plan was crafted as a broad reaching TV buy with airings on top conventional and specialty stations.  Family friendly programming was carefully selected, as it was both highly relevant to our target and creative messaging. 

a) Sales/Share Results

Sales Objectives:  As noted, baseline $ sales had been declining between -1% and -9% a year since 2007. With the launch of “Moving Day”, Oreo was able to turn this around.  This was despite increased competition and a price increase on the brand.

- In 2011, when “Moving Day” was on air, baseline $ sales spiked by 12%. Overall, by end of year, the dollar consumption grew by over 10% with baseline sales contributing 6%.

- In addition, penetration also increased during this period.

Creative Objectives:  Creative did not just reach norms, but created new “best-in-class” standards for Canadian advertising.

  • In Qualitative pre-testing, the story was seen to be highly aspirational, broadly relevant – and even inspiring. Creative was seen to deliver strong emotional engagement as regardless of cultural background, respondents were left with strong, positive emotions about both Oreo and “what it means to be Canadian". 
  • Quantitative pre-testing results were even better. “Moving Day”falls within the top 1% of the Millward Brown database for top box branding.

Some of the research verbatims included:

“This ad is not just a great ad, but an important ad”

“It made me believe that adults could learn a lot from these kids”

“Demonstrates unity between cultures”

“It just seems that everyone could take a lesson from it. Enjoy life. Make new friends. Be open to trying things. And never forget to be a kid”

Some of the Media coverage:


Figure E

b) Consumption/ Usage Results

c) Other Pertinent Results

d) Return on Investment

a) General Discussion

As noted, the unique Canadian creative “Moving Day” helped improve baseline growth by 12% while on air, and this was sustained over time at +6%.

Additionally, in-market tracking demonstrated strong creative impact with significant improvements to equity in Q2 (April to June) vs. Q1 (Jan to March) when Oreo was not on air.

Ad awareness, Brand Linkage and overall appeal were also well above norms, and there were no other activities to have caused the results.

b) Excluding Other Factors
Spending Levels:

There were no variables in any of the next sections to have caused the results.


See the comment under "Spending Levels."

Distribution Changes:

See the comment under "Spending Levels."

Unusual Promotional Activity:

See the comment under "Spending Levels."

Other Potential Causes:

No other potential causes have been tracked.