NORTHFIELD, Ill. -- The Oreo was born 100 years ago today, on March 6, 1912, when two decoratively embossed chocolate-flavored biscuits were combined with a creme filling. The first Oreo cookie was sold in Hoboken, N.J. In honor of this milestone, Oreo "is asking the world to put down its cell phones, close its laptops and take a moment to celebrate the kid inside us all by inspiring and collecting one million moments of slowed down, carefree fun."
At Oreo.com/birthday and on the Oreo Facebook page, fans can share how they have let their "inner child" free by posting a photo, story or video to the Oreo Moments Gallery. The "Million Moments Meter" will track submissions so fans can see what others are doing around the world.
People are already sharing moments, the company said, such as a father and his daughter sharing an Oreo cookie and milk over webcams.
"In today's hectic world, people have more responsibilities and pressures than ever before," said John Ghingo, senior director for Oreo Global. "Despite this, the simple act of enjoying an Oreo cookie and glass of milk continues to speak to a universal, human truth: inside all of us, whether grown-up or still growing, there's a kid that deserves to be set free every once in a while."
To kick off this mission, Oreo will make moments happen for fans in nearly two-dozen countries during more than 100 birthday parties, including:
- In the United States, Oreo will surprise consumers in seven cities with "flash birthday parties," including a concert with a special guest in Los Angeles, as well as a celebration on Capitol Hill.
- In China, Oreo fans will witness a grand fireworks show at the famous Shanghai Bund in honor of the 100th birthday, with the Oriental Pearl tower turned "Oreo" blue in the background in commemoration of the brand. A celebration bus tour will stop in 100 cities and towns, bringing games and activities such as a jungle gym, trampoline and "Bungie Dunking."
- Consumers in Indonesia will get to unleash the kid inside at a specially constructed park, courtesy of Oreo, that will include a large playground for all to enjoy.
- In Canada, festivities start with a surprise gift in the Toronto Eaton Centre.
- In Venezuela, Oreo fans will have a chance to break dozens of pinatas to commemorate the milestone in true birthday fashion.
- In the Middle East, Oreo will bring consumers together in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Dubai for party games and birthday cake, including a celebration at the world's largest shopping mall in Dubai.
The celebrations will be captured through video and photos, and shared in real-time on the Oreo Facebook page for fans in more than 200 countries to enjoy.
With the centennial comes an international limited-edition cookie launch. New Birthday Cake Oreo cookies feature colorful sprinkles in the creme filling held together by chocolate Oreo cookie wafers, embossed with a special birthday design. Birthday Cake Oreo cookies have been available in the United States, China, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Canada since mid-February.
The brand will also launch new global advertising across digital, in-store, print and television in multiple countries, which debuted on March 2. The print advertising features Oreo in some of the most iconic moments of the last century, from soccer becoming a much-loved global pastime to the making of the movie Jaws. The TV ad spots celebrate the Oreo and milk moment by showing adults and kids sharing a cookie and milk in everyday situations.
In addition to sharing their moments on the Oreo Moments Gallery, Oreo Facebook fans around the world will have the chance throughout 2012 to be featured for the brand's "Birthday of the Day," which spotlights a new fan on his/her birthday every day. Fans also can choose to send personalized birthday card greetings through Facebook to family and friends, which includes a customized greeting from country music trio Lady Antebellum.
In the fall, Oreo will host a multinational event in New York City for selected Oreo ambassadors from 13 countries. Each "AmbassadOreo" will take a pledge to continue the brand's 100th birthday mission of spreading childlike delight in their communities.
As one of Kraft Foods' 12 billion-dollar brands, Oreo has more than $2 billion in global annual revenues.
Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft Foods Inc. is a global snacks company with a portfolio of biscuits, confectionery, beverages, cheese, grocery products and convenient meals brands in approximately 170 countries, Kraft Foods had 2011 revenue of $54.4 billion; 12 of the brands-- Cadbury, Jacobs, Kraft, LU, Maxwell House, Milka, Nabisco, Oreo, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Tang and Trident--generate revenue of more than $1 billion annually.