The Oreo/Game of Thrones brand tie-up will see the Mondelez brand help fans pledge their loyalty to the Iron Throne, in what its senior director is calling one of its biggest collaborations to date.
Oreo teased the partnership in a social teaser video on Saturday, leading a raft of titles to publish the headline ‘Game of Thrones Oreos are coming’. However, Justin Parnell, the senior director of Oreo at Mondelez, revealed the mashup would involve more than a branded cookie, and will also “help fans pledge their loyalty to the throne” at the ANA Brand Masters Conference today (27 February).
Parnell would not reveal exactly how the activation will pan out ahead of the HBO show’s final season premiere, yet said it is “certainly” Oreo’s biggest collaboration of the year, and potentially its biggest ever.
He noted it would play heavily into one of Oreo’s key missions – to connect people – and hinted it would engage the fanatical Game of Thrones social community.
“They’re doing viewing parties together, they’re bantering online about character plots [and] they’re speculating about what’s going to happen,” he said. “It’s definitely a community that’s all about social connections and that’s what makes it relevant for Oreo.
“What we’re doing is fully and wholeheartedly leaning into our brand purpose, which is that we believe in the power of playful spirit to bring people together ... You don’t necessarily think of Game of Thrones as being playful, at least not in the way we think about it. But what we love about this is that Game of Thrones fans are already a real community."
Recently, the brand has focused more heavily on the aesthetic and emotions of playfulness among adults, rather than the connections the state of being can reap. Having historically focused its marketing efforts on targeting children and families, it now has enshrined the idea of irreverent fun in the “core [its] DNA” with the help of its shops of record, 360i and the Martin Agency, according to Parnell.
This focus has manifested in ‘Stay Playful’, a new campaign being led by Wiz Khalifa and his five-year-old son, Sebastian. Alongside starring in the flagship film, the rapper has produced an original song about playfulness and helped launch the Oreo x Wiz Khalifa Limited-Edition Music Box – a miniature record player powered by Oreo cookies.
Oreo has previously meshed its playful brand with the likes of Google Android, Cadbury the brand formally known as Dunkin’ Donuts, Dunkin’. For Parnell, partnering with both rival and seemingly random brands is key to one of its “critical” marketing strategies – maintaining a level of cultural relevancy by “being playful with the world and encouraging the world to be playful with us”.
“It’s about elevating Oreo from being about a cookie that you play with to a brand that you engage with, one that’s interesting and playful in itself,” he said. “We absolutely believe that cultural resonance is more important than ever before and is the center point around our marketing strategy plans on Oreo."