- Oreo next week will let customers ask Amazon Alexa, the e-commerce giant's virtual assistant, about the sandwich cookie's latest news and flavors without needing to download a skill. Starting on Sept. 16, consumers can ask "Alexa, what's new with Oreo?" to hear the information and have a chance to place a direct order, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- By saying, "Alexa, order [insert product name] Oreo," customers will receive a push notification about the order, which will be added to an Amazon shopping cart. When they are ready to purchase, they can say, "checkout Oreos," to place an order for home delivery.
- Oreo is introducing the Alexa integration to coincide with the rollout of its latest Mystery Oreo, whose flavor is a secret. Oreo is running a Mystery Oreo Challenge that will reward $50,000 to a customer who correctly guesses the flavor. Contestants need to submit their guess to a special microsite by Nov. 10, and they can submit one guess a day to boost the chances of winning.
With the introduction of an Alexa integration, Oreo aims to leverage the publicity for its Mystery Oreo Challenge and let customers know that they can place direct orders through Amazon's virtual assistant. Voice shopping has been slow to get off the ground, with only 8% of consumers saying they have shopped with a smart speaker, per a survey by researcher GfK. However, the number of U.S. consumers who shop by smart speaker is expected to rise 31.6% to 31 million this year, and by another 11.8% to 34.7 million in 2020, researcher eMarketer forecast. Oreo's Alexa integration can help to drive awareness of voice shopping among its most devoted consumers.
Mystery flavors like Oreo's have become a popular way to market packaged foods in recent years. Skittles, the fruit candy marketed by Mars, last month introduced Zombie Skittles that mixed a repulsive flavor known as a "rotten zombie" in packages of the candy. Candy manufacturer Just Born has a tradition of releasing three mystery flavors of Peeps each spring before Easter. Polar Beverages released three mystery flavors of seltzer during one of its summer campaigns.
Oreo's Alexa skill is the latest sign of the cookie brand's willingness to adopt the latest technologies to reach consumers, especially kids who are less likely to see advertising in traditional channels like broadcast TV. Oreo this year rolled out a European campaign with image-messaging app Snapchat that included special packaging marked with scannable codes to unlock a cookie-themed augmented reality (AR) lens, filters and digital stickers of "Oreoji" characters.
The cookie brand also partnered with Dunkin' to promote new flavors of doughnuts and coffee through Twitter. Last year, Oreo introduced a mobile scavenger hunt that gave players clues on where to find hidden virtual cookies in everyday objects, then used image-recognition technology to confirm the player found the digital Oreo that was overlaid on the real world via a smartphone camera.