Considering its marketing over the last couple of years, it’s tough to believe Mondelez once wasn’t sure Oreo had enough brand personality. Now the company’s trying to pull off a similar boost for another century-old cookie brand.
This week marks the launch of Newtons (formerly Fig Newtons) first-ever original content series “Now We’re Newtons,” created by agency Weber Shandwick. It’s an office comedy, using millennial and older workers to represent the cookie brand’s own very real recent transition from Fig Newtons to just Newtons. Here flashy fruits with skinny pants and wild ideas have moved in to the Figs’ space. Hijinks surely ensue. It’s like The Office, if the characters’ heads were a cross between the Fruit of the Loom guys and Jimmy Fallon’s Lip Flip.
Despite changing its name three years ago to reflect more fruit beyond the figs, Weber Shandwick executive creative director Jim Paul says consumers are still largely unaware of the Newtons expanded portfolio and rebranding efforts. The goal of the web series is to remedy that, engage with a younger audience and raise awareness of the brand’s new “A Lot of Fruit to Give” partnership with Feeding America.
“We took a step back and asked ourselves: what’s the brand’s most strategic storytelling opportunity to infuse new life into a more-than-a-century old biscuit brand and consequently, encourage participation in this charitable program?” says Paul. “Enter ‘Now We’re Newtons,’ an episodic, irreverent social sitcom that tells the fruit-centric story of a company in transition from being run by figs to not just figs anymore.”
“To be top of mind in today’s very cluttered marketplace, we have to do more than expand our product portfolio,” says Gary Osifchin, Portfolio Lead, Biscuits at Mondelez. “We need to act boldly, be imaginative and cleverly offer value beyond product information. ‘Now We’re Newtons’ is a lighthearted, witty vehicle to tell our product and social giving story, and hopefully give people a good laugh along the way.”