- To celebrate his birthday and National Oreo Day, which both fell on March 6, former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal held a live event in his hometown of Atlanta, GA, to give out free Oreo Chocolate Candy Bars, according to Adweek. National Oreo Day is also the "birthday" of the Oreo cookie.
- The "Snack Shaq" playhouse pop-up at Atlantic Station had a customized sunroom allowing the 7 foot 1 inch former NBA player to peek out of the top. As part of the promotion, Oreo worked with the agency 360i to give away 1 million free bars online via OreoBirthdayGiveaway.com.
- In addition to the out-of-home event, Shaq appears in a series of video clips running 15 seconds or less that Oreo is sharing on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. The videos show Shaq cold calling people from the phonebook to give away candy bars as he walks around his house that's filled with boxes of the snack.
Creating an out-of-home activation like the Snack Shaq could help Mondelez's Oreo connect with fans in the real world and create a shareable experience that raises social media awareness around National Oreo Day — essentially a branded holiday. Over the past year, many marketers, including Lay's potato chips, have used similar approaches to OOH to connect with millennial and Gen Z audiences that are frequently cited as craving experiences over products.
This also isn't the first Oreo campaign that's used Shaq's recognizable face and light-hearted charm for marketing purposes. The cookie brand partnered with the former NBA star on its Oreo Dunk Challenge last year, which featured a cross-channel effort where consumers could scan an Oreo cook and unlock a digital experience using custom technology.
Oreo is supporting the effort with short digital and social videos, an increasingly popular trend among marketers to connect with younger audiences who tend to have short attention spans. Marketers have found success with creating a series of short video ads that they can string together into a longer campaign or to lead up to a big announcement. The format often works best when tied to a specific event or fitting into a broader brand story, such as the one around Shaq's birthday.