Oreo has launched a new cookie with popping candy mixed into the crème to kick off a contest to design its next flavor, according to a company release.
The Firework Oreo is a limited edition cookie. Mondelez said consumers should use it as inspiration for their own flavor creations in the #MyOreoCreation contest. U.S. fans can submit one unique submission per day on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtags #MyOreoCreation #Contest.
The winners will be decided by fan vote in July, with finalist prizes of $25,000 and a grand prize of $500,000. The winning variety will hit store shelves in May 2018. Flavors will be chosen based on taste appeal (40%), creativity (30%) and originality (30%).
Oreo is by no means the first brand to crowdsource a new flavor, but this particular campaign encourages consumers to engage positively with it — and repeatedly if they wish — on social media. Whether or not the resulting cookie is destined to become a staple Oreo variety, the campaign has certainly inspired a lot of people to talk about the brand. Contest entries have already begun flooding Twitter with the #MyOreoCreation hashtag, and it will be interesting to see if consumer engagement continues through the contest's July deadline.
Frito-Lay is another brand that has found flavor contests to be a powerful promotional tool. Its “Do Us A Flavor” competition has become an annual event. It offers a $1 million prize, but submissions are only accepted via the company’s website. The contest clearly has value for Frito-Lay, but Oreo may receive more engagement by relying on social networks to archive submissions, share ideas and get the word out.
In a twist on this trend, Pringles last year asked consumers to come up with a 45-second promotional clip for a new flavor. The company had already selected the new flavor, Chili and Sour Cream, but awarded nearly $6,000 to the individual who submitted the best video or animation advertisement showing it off.
Social media campaigns are likely to become the norm in the food manufacturing space, as consumers enjoy having influence over their favorite brands and products. Twitter and Instagram are also a prime opportunity for companies to make their brands approachable and create buzz around their products at no additional cost. By launching contests like Oreo's #MyOreoCreation, food manufacturers can build brand loyalty with people who are already fans of their products and attract new consumers at the same time.