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This ingenious Oreo packaging makes it easy to hide your cookies from your kids

Oreo Thins get branded disguises from Ford, Hanes, Green Giant, and Better Homes & Gardens.

This ingenious Oreo packaging makes it easy to hide your cookies from your kids
[Photo: Oreo]
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I have a secret stash of junk food in my office. Tucked way at the bottom of my bookshelf is a tome that looks particularly dense and boring. The spine reads “Canadian Human Rights Reporter. Vol. 35. 1999.” With apologies to all human rights reporters, to a child, this book looks like the most academic and stale text imaginable. It’s also not a book at all. If you pull it off the shelf and open it up, it’s hollowed out and full of Twizzlers, Swedish Fish, wine gums, and all the other stuff my kids would definitely dig out of my desk on an unsanctioned, stealthy snack search.

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Clearly I’m not alone in needing to hide snacks, and the people at Oreo know this. This week, the brand unveiled what it calls its “Thins Protection Program.” The newly disguised packaging for its Oreo Thins cookies makes it look like anything but a package of tasty treats. The brand teamed up with other companies like Ford, Hanes, Green Giant, and Better Homes & Gardens to disguise the cookies as packages of Hanes t-shirts, a cookbook, cauliflower rice, even a truck manual.

Oreo brand manager Sydney Kranzmann says the idea is targeted at adults, specifically millennial parents. “For years, parents have been telling us that children are stealing their Oreo Thins cookies, and we’ve seen many adults resort to hiding their cookies from other family members,” says Kranzmann in an email. “By tapping into a behavior that our parent fans were already doing, the playful and clever campaign perfectly relayed the message that Oreo Thins are cookies for adults and provide a more grown-up snacking experience.”

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The brand worked with a laundry list of ad agency and media planning partners to pull this off, including The Community, MediaMonks, 360i, Weber Shandwick, and VaynerMedia. It also got reality TV stars Kevin and Danielle Jonas to promote the limited edition packaging on their Instagram feed. The only downside to this whole project is that there are only 3,000 packages available, all on a first-come, first served basis. On its social channels, Oreo challenged fans to share their most creative hiding spots, using the hashtag #THINSProtectionProgram, for a chance to win one of the special-edition packages and $25,000. Brand Twitter also jumped on this bandwagon, and Oreo got answers from brands like Ikea, Home Depot, Xbox, and more.

Now, if Twizzlers and Swedish Fish can just launch some similar packaging, my snack stashes will be safe forever.

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity.

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