Shreyas Kulkarni

Stranger Things has turned Cadbury Oreo, red

Oreo India’s Sunainika Singh speaks on limited edition Red Velvet Oreo and the collab with Netflix.

No colour in our visible spectrum is as potent as red. In the DC Comics Universe, red skies mean a life-on-a-cosmic-scale threat. Red skies in Netflix’s Bulbbul tell us that there will be justice soon. Red also means Mr India’s invisibility is under threat.

But, of all the stranger things that happen, an Oreo pack turning red with symbols appearing on its shell, is quite a mystery.

It will remain a mystery unless you have seen Stranger Things on Netflix. Season four will drop this weekend and Cadbury Oreo decided to paint its iconic black and white cookie red to celebrate the world turning upside down.

In reality, the release of Stranger Things season 4 came at an opportune time because Sunainika Singh, director, marketing - biscuits & bakes, Mondelēz International, tells afaqs! that they were about to launch a limited edition version of Cadbury Oreo Red Velvet.

“I don't believe Netflix has ever collaborated with a brand so strongly and allows anyone to use its assets like we've been able to use,” remarks Singh, referring to the mark on the red shell of the limited edition packs.

This campaign, she adds, “will be live for the next couple of weeks and include a lot of outdoor drops… There are already a bunch of memes out there. But we will be doing a couple of more assets on digital.”

Turns out, the entity that brought these different giants together was their common friend Leo Burnett. The agency counts Netflix and Cadbury Oreo as its clients.

“We knew the Red Velvet was coming. We knew Stranger Things season 4 was coming too. So, we spoke to Netflix…,” mentions Rajdeepak Das, chief creative officer, Leo Burnett, on how the agency played matchmaker.

Also Read: OREO partners with ‘The Batman’ movie for limited edition packs

Cadbury Oreo did something similar in December 2020 for the release of Batman, starring Robert Pattinson as the caped crusader. While that one was a global campaign, this one is exclusive to India.

Singh reveals that such collaborations (like the one with Batman) often take 18 months

“The marketing plan was designed well in advance.” Talking about the design of the cookie, Singh says it was designed in-house since the brand has an R&D centre.

Priced at Rs 20 and Rs 40, ‘OREO Red Velvet’ will be available across all trade channels. It is already available in Southeast Asia and China, but only in limited edition formats.

Such limited edition offerings are exciting, but are they the best promotional tool or should one go for, say, branded content, featuring celebrities or influencers?

Says Singh, “I think it depends on your campaign thought and idea. It's a question of finding the perfect fit and timing. At the same time, influencers play a huge role in driving consumer demand for our products and brands. We have influencers for Oreo Red too.”

Speaking about the limited edition nature of this new variant, she mentions that the brand believes “limited digital activations drive a lot of consumer love and get new users into the Oreo world… Even across the world, we look at limited edition launches from the point of driving both equity for the brand, as well as getting more consumers into the fold.”

Leo Burnett’s Das agrees, saying that limited edition packs break the monotony of doing the same thing again and again. It helps “to get new people on-board and hardcore lovers fall in love again because you’re changing…”

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