Kraft Launches Oreo Ad Blitz in Land of Biscuits

Kraft, the maker of Oreos, is unveiling a big advertising campaign in Britain. Stuart Payne runs the Web site Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down, where he reviews cookies (or "biscuits" in the Queen's English). He tells Michele Norris the Oreo may have a hard time in Britain.

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MICHELE NORRIS, host.

Ice cold milk and an Oreo cookie; now that's good stuff - a lunchbox staple and a favorite after school snack for many American kids and a few of their parents. Kraft, which owns Nabisco, the maker of Oreos, has successfully sold those chocolate sandwich cookies with the sweet filling in several other countries, notably China. But the Oreo is now taking on Britain, the land where the biscuit reigns, with a big advertising campaign including the inevitable cute boy and his dog.

(Soundbite of commercial)

Unidentified Child: I want to say how I can eat an Oreo. First, you twist it. Then you lick it. Then you dunk it. Mmm.

NORRIS: Mmm - except the reaction in the U.K. has leaned more toward yuck. I'm joined now by someone who reviews cookies or biscuits or whatever you call them. Stuart Payne runs the Web site, nicecupofteaandasitdown.com. We were so happy that you sat down and talked to us.

Mr. STUART PAYNE, (nicecupofteaandasitdown.com): Very, very pleased to join you today.

NORRIS: So, how does an Oreo compare to a biscuit?

Mr. PAYNE: Well, I mean it just is a biscuit. It just is - to me it's what we call a sandwich biscuit. So we have some classics. But of course, you know, one of the fine features about the Oreo is it's a very, very dark biscuit. And I think that's the thing that's probably giving most people a problem over here, because it is quite distinctive.

NORRIS: Now, part of the problem here is the whole dunking culture that surrounds the Oreo, the idea that you're supposed to dunk it in milk and then take your time eating it.

Mr. PAYNE: I don't think that particularly helps. I mean, what to you is part of the kind of folklore of the product to us just comes across as being a bit, I don't know, a bit strange that a biscuit comes with instructions on the side of how to eat it. I think that's the sort of thing that whoever you are, wherever culture you are, it's probably someone else coming in and telling how you're supposed to do something. You first kind of reaction is just basically ignore them, I think.

NORRIS: And I guess you can't usually dunk them in tea. It's not the same.

Mr. PAYNE: I've just tried that, just now, and it wasn't as bad as I thought. It did hold up a bit, a bit better than I thought. Mmm, there we go. So I've got a soft kind of a gooey part that's half the benefit of the tea and then a crunchy bit. I mean, that's not bad. I'm not not enjoying it. It's fine.

NORRIS: Oh, you're not not enjoying it?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. PAYNE: Exactly, there's a double negative for you. No, it's fine.

NORRIS: Stuart Payne, thanks so much.

Mr. PAYNE: Thank you.

NORRIS: Stuart Payne runs the Web site nicecupofteaandasitdown.com. And we did contact Kraft, which makes and markets Oreos. Here's a portion of a response Kraft sent by e-mail focused on how Oreos are eaten. Quote: "Many people dunk Oreos in milk before eating and the British are a dunking culture, but dunking in a hot cup of tea is really for adults, not children. We hope that by introducing the Oreo twist, lick and dunk ritual in the U.K., children will be able to dunk along with adults."

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