Oreo has been America’s #1 cookie brand for over 100 years, solidly ahead of cookie competitors. But in the US market, while everyone loves Oreo as a kid, they often stop purchasing it as an adult until they have kids of their own. Our challenge is how do we maintain Oreo’s relevance past childhood? The brand needs to discover new ways to place itself in culture and connect with folks across generations, with special attention to audiences on their way to becoming adults. We know that connecting with this audience means more than making a great cookie; it means making an impact on their lives. Oreo has been a champion of LGBTQ rights, but at a time when so many brands’ support is surface level sponsorships, we wanted to show we truly understood the community and could make a positive impact on the world, fueled by our beliefs.
We started with our brand belief: Oreo believes that playfulness nurtures lifelong bonds. Nothing is more powerful than the bond between parent and child. But when a child comes out, that bond can be damaged or even broken. LGBTQ+ young people cite family acceptance as the most pressing problem they face. Parents of LGBTQ+ say that they still struggle with news even up to 2 years after their child comes out. Yet time and time again, research tells us that family support is what makes the difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ and their families.
Our objective was clear: Make a positive impact on the bond between LGBTQ youth and their parents.
Proud Parent is a campaign and platform created by OREO celebrating proud families, fostering inclusivity, and championing the idea that a loving world starts with a loving home. In partnership with PFLAG – the nation’s oldest and largest organization dedicated to bringing LGBTQ+ people, families, and allies together – OREO is telling stories about the importance of supportive families to the LGBTQ+ community.
The first phase of the platform launched in June, a time when Pride parades usually fill the streets of US cities. When this ritual was canceled, we didn't let it stop our mission. Together with PFLAG, we sourced and recreated famous signs that proud parents of the past have carried in earlier celebrations. We developed a targeted OOH buy in New York and San Francisco along the abandoned parade routes, and proudly displayed the creative there as well as in an Instagram filter. The OOH placements filled the empty parade routes with messages of love and affirmation.
In October we launched the anchor piece of creative: Proud Parent, a film that tells a story of love, family ties, and authenticity. It highlights the role parents and community play in supporting our LGBTQ+ loved ones. The film launched on Twitter on October 9, the same weekend as National Coming Out Day. The film was created in collaboration with the LGBTQ+ community, including casting the lead actors who are a couple in real life, and in the hiring of our Director of Photography, transgender cinematographer Bianca Cline.
OREO also created 10,000 packs of Pride cookies with rainbow crème filling. Each pack featured seven different colored crème fillings inspired by the colors of the Pride flag. These cookies could only be obtained via a social campaign where allies showed their love for their LGBTQ family or chosen family.
Within the first day of launching, OREO’s Proud Parent platform took over the internet and dominated social conversations. #ProudParent was trending on Twitter the entire day and thousands of people joined the promotion to receive the limited-edition cookies by sharing their personal messages of allyship. The campaign earned more than 400 press placements in a matter of days, including coverage in CNN, USA Today, Forbes, FOX Business and numerous broadcast outlets. And the Our Proud Parent website was flooded by visits from hundreds of thousands of people, providing resources and guidance to families looking to support their LGBTQ+ loved ones.
With a limited paid media buy, our goals for the campaign were organic reach and engagement. We achieved over 315 million total impressions (87 million coming from paid) and 2 million organic engagements. We received almost 1,000 earned placements, which was 9x of our goal.