June 2, 2016

Is This Snackmaker Headed for Snackable Content Greatness?


Mondelēz International, the company behind Oreo and many of your favorite guilty pleasure snacks, has just unveiled plans to give its brand strategy a facelift through a “fearless marketing” model. This will involve new collaborations with numerous different content creators across film, television, digital and mobile platforms.

The news follows a slew of announcements from other companies—including Pepsico and its PepsiMoji campaign—that are working to expand their branding strategies in order to connect with individuals who have stopped paying attention to more traditional means of advertising (cough millennials cough).

But what does that mean for Mondelēz? How does this brand plan to stand out when so many of its peers seem keen on becoming the next big innovators themselves? Here are some ways Mondelēz hopes to accomplish this:

By shoving someone out of a plane.

Yes, really. In July, skydiver Luke Aikins will fall 25,000 feet without a parachute for Heaven Sent, an hour-long televised event sponsored by Mondelēz’s Stride gum. Mondelēz will be executive producer for the event, along with Amusement Park Entertainment, a business that creates “360-degree brand experiences” by using “tech and unique products… as well as old school groundbreaking advertising.”

It may seem odd to follow a “fearless marketing” proclamation with a traditional media event, but Mondelēz plans to make Heaven Sent available through online streaming and pay-per-view platforms as well. In a recent interview with Ad Age, Mondelēz’s global head of content and media monetization, Laura Henderson, explained that effective marketing isn’t always about going all-in on digital right away, but on “making content that’s good enough to make money.” In her view, “what that’s going to do is hold us to a higher bar.” It also follows the classic Bill Gates adage, “content is king,” creating work that (ideally) viewers can’t help but watch—or click on.

By getting BuzzFeed involved.

Two guilty pleasures—clickbait and Oreo cookies—are joining forces to try and take the Internet by storm. This partnership plans to integrate recipes and snacks onto BuzzFeed’s Tasty platform of food-related content, and also create an original content brand for the wellbeing space. Mondelēz and BuzzFeed have worked together in the past on holiday season recipe videos, and Henderson sees this new development as giving “tremendous reach and scale” to the company,

By tapping into your Candy Crush addiction.

Mondelēz saw great success in the mobile gaming space after its free Oreo Twist Lick Dunk was downloaded nearly 7 million times (apparently, that’s 5 billion cookies dunked into glasses of milk, Henderson says). The company plans to build on that mobile momentum by unveiling a new Sour Patch Kids mobile game later in the year. Should that match Oreo’s app success, more Mondelēz brands are expected to follow suit over the next 18 months.

Mondelēz has come up with a branding strategy that takes a forward-thinking stance on making compelling content for a broad variety of platforms, all while staying true to the various personalities of the company’s individual brands. This second factor is hugely important, as nothing quite compares to the awkwardness of a company losing sight of its authentic identity during a rebrand to digital. It’ll be interesting to see how this branding strategy shapes up.