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By The Drum, Editorial

June 13, 2024 | 6 min read

Taking Partnership or Collaboration Gold at The Drum Awards for Marketing EMEA 2024 is Becoming a Cultural Icon from Tin Man and OREO. Here is the award-winning case study.

Background & Objectives

Despite its global fame and 111 years of heritage in the US, OREO is still a relatively young brand in the UK. In a category of competitors steeped in British heritage and cultural cache, OREO lacked relevance and saliency and was losing penetration among millennial audiences. We needed to fill OREO with meaning, ignite brand love and inject the cool factor into a brand that is widely perceived to have its finger on the pulse of culture.

Planning and Strategy

OREO has traditionally targeted Millennials (27-42) as a primary focus. However, we needed to be more intentional in targeting their growth audience of Gen Zs (18-26), who are generally more adventurous with their food choices, inspired by viral food trends on social media, and have growing spending power. We knew that if we could get them twisting and sharing, it would have a halo effect on Millennials.

Our strategy was to embed the OREO brand into Gen Z culture. In recent years, chicken shops have become part of the fabric of UK culture, appealing to Gen Z in particular. Tinie Tempah and Stormzy rap about them, NIKE used them to promote trainers, and London’s Wingfest sells out quicker than Glastonbury. When we spotted that Beyonce loved the chicken burgers at a certain chicken shop so much she spent over £2,000 there… an idea was born.

To drive cultural relevance, talkability, buzz, and twist up some tastebuds, we partnered with Chicken Shop and its former Michelin-starred chef founder Carl Clarke to create a very unexpected OREO ‘Twist’.

Creative Execution

We created a shockingly good limited edition menu fusing the incredible taste of OREO cookies with delicious fried chicken. We created three mouth-watering twists that were given away for FREE to 150 plucky customers each day for a week at six different Chicken Shop restaurants. The menu included:

  • The O Fries: A perfect balance of sweet and salty, with an oh-so-good seasoning, combining a blend of salt, pepper, and garlic seasoning with delicious, crushed OREO crumb.
  • The Big Twist Burger: Inspired by the look of the iconic cookie, this dish was a gobsmackingly good take on the fried chicken classic. Crunchy, fried chicken layered between nacho cheese, smoky chipotle mayo, and an exclusive Mexican-inspired mole sauce made with OREO crumb in a burnt chocolate charcoal bun.
  • The Twist & Shake: A milkshake made with OREO crumb combining moreish crushed OREO cookie pieces with Chicken Shop’s iconic chocolate sauce.

Our robust media and social strategy ensured our news went far and wide. Launching with food porn-esque video content, we drove hype by inviting VIP media and influencers to be the first to get their hands on the menu. Resulting ‘taste test’ content helped build excitement amongst the public in the lead up to the giveaway, ensuring there were thousands queuing out the door on launch day.

Results & Evaluation

This 360 campaign brought together earned media, influencers, and social content, and audiences went wild for it…

  • Over 1,000 salivating OREO and fried chicken fans waited to get their hands - or should we say lips - on the menu.
  • Influencers with millions of TikTok followers took it upon themselves to experience this once in a lifetime brand collab without us even paying them.
  • For those who couldn’t get their hands on the menu, we saw some make their own OREO creations at home, posting them all over TikTok and Instagram, spawning a host of playful OREO twists - a key objective for us.
  • Out of 200 media articles, 40% was from gold tier ‘youth’ titles including LadBible,, and Sheerluxe, and we had homepage call-outs on Mail Online and Metro. Multiple nationals even used the brand name in the headline. Unheard of for earned media.
  • The distinctive black bun - re-creating the look of an OREO - was so visually impactful that 94% of coverage included branded campaign imagery.
  • 4.2 million reach across channels with nearly 20,000 engagements - with an average engagement rate of 6.68% on TikTok - above benchmark for the brand.
  • We grew OREO social channels by [confidential] and added [confidential] subscribers to the eCRM database.
  • KPIs were exceeded by 275% and the brand finished with exceptional value, with sales up [confidential].
  • Post-campaign research showed that 43% of consumers remember seeing the campaign in earned media or on social, with 9% of Gen Z (18-26 year olds) feeling OREO is a playful and cool, cultural brand.

Why This Campaign Should Win

Not many campaigns can truly say they went viral, despite cries of ‘make our campaign go viral’ by brands everywhere. But this one really did. We set up the collab, ensured it was seen widely in media and on social, and then we let it take on a life of its own. Influencers were begging to try out the menu, the masses were salivating at the prospect of trying the lip-smacking burger, and people were trying out their own OREO and chicken twists at home, and sharing the brand playfulness on our behalf.

Through this collab, we upped the playfulness, upped the cultural cache, and upped the ante across other brands in this sector. Winner, winner Chicken Dinner!

Ready to get your work recognized on a global stage? Enter The Drum Awards today. Need more inspiration, read our Award Winning Case Studies.

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