CAMPAIGNS: Product Launch - Oreo spin-off is a sweet success

Client: Nabisco (Hanover, NJ)

PR Team: Coyne PR (Fairfield, NJ)

Campaign: Mini Oreo launch

Time Frame: June-August, 2000

Budget: dollars 80,000

How do you build a national campaign for a spin-off of a world-renowned

product with less than two months notice? Keep it simple. That's what

Coyne PR did for the launch of Nabisco's Mini Oreo. To make a big splash

for a little cookie, they settled on an event requiring two minivans, a

cement mixer and a whole lot of cookies and milk.


Kids love cookies, but moms buy them, says Coyne president Tom Coyne.

So rather than target the tykes, he went after women between the ages of

25 and 55. The campaign also sought to broaden the appeal of Oreos as a

treat for kids and an everyday snack. 'It's all about on-the-go

snackability,' says Coyne. 'We took the cookie out of dessert

positioning and into the hands of moms.'


Coyne decided to play on the Mini Oreo's small size. With an eye on his

small, dollars 80,000 budget, he bartered space on for

two 2001 Dodge minivans - one to give away in a sweepstakes, and the

other to fill with Mini Oreos. 'The main vehicle of a mom is a minivan,'

says Coyne. The contest involved guessing the number of cookies in the

van. But Coyne had to figure out how to fill the van. 'We started with

different concepts - from cranes to buckets - and finally agreed upon on

a cement mixer,' he says.

A New Jersey company had just purchased a brand new mixer and agreed to

let Coyne use it. With a production crew and a satellite truck on hand

to shoot a VNR, Nabisco invited 150 preschoolers and 500 Nabisco

employees to watch as the cement truck filled the minivan with cookies.

Accounting firm Deloitte & Touche was on hand to verify the count, and

Nabisco had plenty of cookies and milk for the kids.

Though they had eight weeks to prepare, pitching was done mostly in the

three days before the event. Coyne's staff created press kits with

materials on the cookie and the minivans. The pitch targeted 2,700

journalists, mostly food and lifestyle reporters, as well as most wire

services. The Associated Press guaranteed coverage in exchange for an

exclusive at 12:01am the day of the event.

Six Coyne employees worked the event with Nabisco's in-house PR staff,

and four others stayed at the office calling the top 200 broadcast

outlets and newspapers.

'The morning of the event, we had product footage shot when the AP story

popped,' says Coyne. 'We shot up on the satellite at 2am and shot

product footage of the new Mini Oreo for early radio and TV shows, to

get the chatter going.'


Three New Jersey TV stations attended the event, and it also received

coverage on NBC's Early Today show and CBS's The Early Show. Coyne says

that there were more than 300 television broadcasts touching on the

launch, a mention in a monologue on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and

multiple mentions on CNN Headline News.

The AP story and photo received 200 print placements, and there were 800

radio broadcast mentions. Trade magazines Brand Week, Baking and

Confection, Confectioner, Supermarket News and Baking and Snack also

picked up the story.

Nabisco received about 15,000 calls regarding the product on the day of

the event, says Kevin Lamb of Coyne, and more than 100,000 people

entered the sweepstakes.


Coyne is now the agency of record for Nabisco's Lifesaver and Knox

Gelatin brands, and is currently running campaigns on behalf of both


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