EAST HANOVER, NJ: Kraft Foods is working with Hunter Public Relations on a year-long PR push to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Oreo cookies.
A kickoff event featuring NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. took place in New York on June 12.
Through October, a historical exhibit, Oreo on View, will be on display in New York's Chelsea Market, a building where the first Oreos were produced.
A national contest inviting people to submit their favorite Oreo moments will also take place through October, said Larry Baumann, senior manager of communications for the biscuit division of Kraft Foods. Ninety winners of the contest will be flown to New York for an Oreo birthday party.
Two new varieties of Oreos are being introduced this year, and will be tied into the anniversary PR campaign. Media outreach to food and new-product editors has already begun, Baumann said.
The company recently unveiled a chocolate-peanut-butter-cream Oreo, and also plans to announce a mint-chocolate-cream version in August.
The June kickoff event received coverage from more than 300 broadcast outlets, including CNN and CNBC. "We had local coverage in just about every market, said Baumann. "The pickup has been tremendous. Print coverage included a Reuters story.
Hunter has been working on PR for Oreos since last year, when a chocolate-cream version was introduced.
Oreo's partnership with NASCAR is well established: An image of the classic vanilla-cream-filled cookie has adorned the hood of the late Dale Earnhardt's race car. In February, Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove an Oreo-branded car to victory in the GNC Live Well 300 in the return of his father's legendary No. 3 to the track.