PR exec: Is Oreo a marketing genius or just witty on Twitter?

Oreo’s recent Twitter banter with AMC Theaters and Kit Kat may have been fun and engaging, but is it a marketing strategy others should replicate?

Say “Oreo” in a room full of marketers, and you’ll quickly hear words like “love,” “real-time marketing experts” and “brilliant marketers.”

I was one of those people singing its praises. I love some of the content marketing Oreo has done on Facebook.

But this MediaBistro post put me over the edge, and this AdAge post is just ridiculous. Both were the result of a recent exchange between Oreo and Kit Kat.

If you remember, Oreo has been rather adept at navigating Twitter comebacks. Remember the back-and-forth with AMC Theaters?

Oreo has done some groundbreaking things when it comes to content marketing, and even real-time marketing. Oreo has built a model with Nabisco where it can create content and responses in a very agile and fast-moving way. That’s nothing to slough off, as I have yet to see a lot of brands do it well.

But should we really be ready to crown Oreo—or its agency—as the greatest marketers to ever walk the earth?

I’m not so sure.

We’ve become so swept up in the real-time marketing/Twitter quips hype engine, and we have no proof any of it actually works (outside of the top-line social media metrics we can all see, which isn’t much).

Look back at those MediaBistro and AdAge articles. Is this what constitutes successful online marketing today?

Some of Oreo’s prior content marketing efforts were smart. Building unique, visual content that plays off a product, taking advantage of useless holidays to create a conversation and awareness around Oreo, and posting about the Super Bowl were smart strategies to build Oreo’s brand online.

But I just don’t see Twitter chit-chat with Kit Kat and AMC Theaters as brilliant marketing. I see it as clever writing on Twitter—nothing more and nothing less.

For all the cool back-and-forths, what has Oreo really accomplished?

Sure, these exchanges have gotten the brand a fair amount of press. And I’m sure they impact volume and sentiment, since these tweets usually lead to a number of retweets and replies.

But did the exchanges sell more cookies or build markedly more awareness for the brand? We don’t know because we aren’t part of Oreo or its agency.

What do you think? Is Oreo really the brilliant marketer everyone has labeled it to be? I love a lot of what Oreo has done, but I’m not ready to crown it king just yet.

Arik Hanson is principal of ACH Communications. A version of this article originally ran on his blog, Communications Conversations. (Image via)

Topics: PR

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