Celebrate 100 Years Of Oreo With A History Of Its Marketing

In 1912, the Chelsea-based National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) was looking for a new product to follow up the success of Barnum’s Animal cookies. They three ideas for new cookies, but only one would make it to the shelves: a sandwich cookie made up of two chocolate wafers and a creme filling.

Now 100 years later, Oreo is the most popular cookie in the world.

Click here to see the history of their packaging>>

To celebrate the landmark birthday, Oreo is releasing limited edition Birthday Cake Oreos (with sprinkles in the creme filling) and is launching a new campaign to “celebrate the kid inside.”  

The campaign will illustrate the memories that Oreo creates and how it can bring us back to childhood. explains Emmanuelle Voirin, Oreo’s Senior Brand Manager. 

“Oreo cookies transcend age and time. Grandparents who fell in love with Oreo when they were little now get to share the fun of the ‘twist, lick and dunk’ with their grandkids.”

Since it was first introduced to the U.S. on March 6th, 1912, over 491 billion Oreo cookies have been sold.

And each year, the product, now owned by Kraft Foods, rakes in over $1.5 billion worldwide, despite growing concerns over the rise in childhood obesity and the general unhealthy eating habits of Americans.

It seems that a whole lot of people must agree with Robert Redford when he said “Health food may be good for the conscience, but Oreos taste a hell of a lot better.”

Oreo Packaging - 1912

This box is quite different from the blue plastic packaging to which we are accustomed! This is what your Oreos would have come in had you bought them in 1912.

Oreo Packaging - 1915

When that box proved bulky, Oreo transitioned to this blue tin. The Oreo shows the design of cookie in its earliest days. Since then the chocolate wafer design has changed just twice.

Oreo Ad - 1919

Oreo Packaging - 1923

Oreo Ad - 1924

Fun fact: According to Kraft (who does studies on these sorts of things) 50 per cent of Oreo eaters pull apart their cookies before they eat them and women are more likely to do the twist than men.

Oreo Packaging - 1937

Through the 1940's, ads prominently featured women enjoying Oreos. Packaging was yellow until the 1940s as well, after which they switched to the more recognisable blue box.

Oreo Ad - 1950

The twist had been a part of Oreo advertising since the 1920's, but the lick was added in 1950's.

Oreo Packaging - 1951

Now it's looking a little more familiar. In the 1950's, Oreo starts to package the cookies so that you could see the stacks through the cellophane wrapper.

Since then Oreo has released more than 30 different flavours worldwide, but original is still our favourite.

Oreo Ad - 1952

In the 1950's, Oreo introduced its famous slogan 'Oh! Oh! Oreo.' Other iconic slogans include:

  • For the Kid in All of Us (1980)
  • The One and Only (1982)
  • Oreo, The Original Twister (1995)
  • Milk's favourite Cookie (2004)

Oreo Packaging - 1969

In the 1960's, Oreo starts packaging several rows of their cookies in one box.

Also in the 1960's, we see Oreo's advertising firmly transitions from a focus on women to a focus on children. Below is one of their earliest TV commercials that tells the story of a little boy and his Oreo cookies.

Oreo Packaging - 1975

Oreo will keep this packaging from 1975 to 1995, changing it very little even then.

The 1970's also saw Oreo advertising start to rely heavily on jingles, which they would continue to use through the 1980's.

Oreo Ad - 1984

In the 1980's, Oreo advertising focused on kids with the 'Who's that kid with the Oreo cookie?' campaign. As part of that they produced a number of commercials showing the different ways kids eat Oreo cookies.

This one from 1984 stars a very young Jaleel White, who would play Steve Urkel in the 1990's hit show Family Matters.

Oreo Packaging - 1995

Oreo changed their packaging drastically in 1995, giving us the packaging we know today.

During this decade, Oreo did a series of commercials that showed exactly how to eat one of their cookies: twist, lick, and then dunk.

Oreo Super Bowl Ad - 2008

In 2008, Oreo joined big league advertisers in the Super Bowl to promote Double Stuf Oreo cookies. The commercial starred the Manning brothers and the Williams sisters who were the faces of the Double Stuf Racing League.

Oreo Goes Digital - 2008

Oreo may be 100, but it isn't behind the times. Oreo is on Facebook, and has over 25 million followers in 183 countries, including Vatican City.

In recent commercials, the brand used modern technology to show how Oreo cookies bring us together.

Celebrate the Kid Inside - 2012

In its birthday year, Oreo with 'celebrate the kid inside' with new promotions and commercials.

This spot (featured on their Facebook page) reminds us that while the spots have no aired yet, we are probably in for a whole lot of cute.

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