Oreo asks Shaq to dunk a cookie with his mind

The traditional Oreo-and-milk pairing gets a modern twist with help from the NBA star.

When consumers think of Oreos, chances are, they don’t envision the animated Wonderfilled world introduced in 2013. Thanks to decades of "lick, stick and dunk" messaging, they probably think of the way they soak the cookie in milk. The brand is now giving the move a modern twist. 

A social media contest, the "Oreo Dunk Challenge," kicks off today with NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal attempting to dunk an Oreo cookie—with his mind. The event will take place at New York City’s Chelsea Market, home to the first Oreo. Fans can show off their cookie dunking skills on social media for a chance to win a meet-and-greet with O’Neal and Christina Aguilera, who appear in the brand’s ads.

"If you've ever wanted to move things with your mind, this is your chance," said Patricia Gonzalez, director of North America, Oreo Equity, at Mondelez International. Gonzalez didn’t detail how Shaq will move the product, but said it involved the use of "state-of-the-art computer interface headsets." Those who "reach a certain level of concentration can literally move the object with their minds," she said.

The sweepstakes campaign will continue through April 30 with many moving parts from an agency team that includes The Martin Agency (creative) 360i (social), Carat (media buy) and Weber Shandwick (PR). During the Grammy Awards, Oreo will debut its first Snapchat lens. The brand will also make the ABC talk show rounds, dunking with Kelly Ripa, Jimmy Kimmel and the chefs on "The Chew." Online, Oreo will partner with Buzzfeed on branded content, feature pre-roll on Funny or Die and create a "digital experience" on Google. 

One place consumers won’t find the "Oreo Dunk Challenge" is children’s programming. "We don't see Oreo as a kid brand," Gonzalez said. "Our focus is not on kids, but the brand has the ability to remind adults what it's like to feel and wonder like a kid again."


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