Target Shoppers Capture Pokemon Oreos

graphical user interface, application

When a comfort eating surge brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic began to wane in 2021, Mondelez International looked for a different way to connect with shoppers.

Shopper data led the manufacturer to collaborate with The Pokemon Co. for a limited-edition release of its Oreo brand last fall. In September and October 2021, the "Oreo Pokemon Adventure at Target" program utilized retail and social media to tout the cookies' availability at the mass merchant.

"Insights showed us that 45% of dessert and confection consumers enjoy desserts that remind them of their childhood," says Jennifer Mason, customer director of shopper marketing at Mondelez. "We recognized leveraging the cross-generational love for Pokemon and Oreo cookies would help inspire shoppers to reconnect with their childhood through this limited-edition product. Additionally, our historic experiences have shown that limited-edition SKUs at Target perform extraordinarily well."

Based on their past successes together, Mondelez partnered with Roundel, Target’s media network, and Boston-based Breaktime Media to bring the program to life. Mondelez agency partner VMLY&R Commerce also contributed to the campaign.

graphical user interface, application, website

To drive anticipation of the limited launch, the manufacturer worked with Roundel to develop animated social posts highlighting beloved Pokemon characters. These prelaunch posts ran Sept. 9-12 on Target's Facebook page and Snapchat.

Once the limited-edition packs were on-shelf, Mondelez transitioned from the anticipatory posts to animated ads designed to grab shoppers' attention. The content focused on engaging viewers to guess which Pokemon was featured on the Oreo cookies and drove shoppers to the product listing on, where they could add the product directly to cart.

Mondelez also employed offsite Bullseye banner ads to drive shoppers to a custom Breaktime Media experience. It contained a quiz where shoppers could test their Pokemon knowledge and receive their personalized Pokemon trainer ranking. The quiz was followed by the opportunity to click to add the Pokemon Oreo cookies directly to their cart. 

Users could also upload photos and customize them with unique Pokemon Oreo picture frames. To wrap up the experience, shoppers could share which Pokemon they were most excited to find through a custom poll and see how their choice compared to other fans. 

Mondelez worked with Target to incorporate the limited-edition Oreo packaging into in-store displays with the rest of its Oreo portfolio.

"The in-store displays provided the holding power for guests to find our products whether they purchased online or in-store, as Target pulls from in-store inventory to fulfill all Oreo cookie orders," Mason says.

Breaktime Media’s interactive content experience resulted in tens of thousands of unique shopper engagements, with an average engagement time of three minutes and 12 seconds. The Breaktime experience outperformed benchmarks in inspiring purchases using the add-to-cart feature by 29.6%, Mason says.

In all, the collective marketing efforts resulted in double-digit cookie category online sales growth versus prior year, and triple-digit total online Oreo cookie sales growth compared to prior year. The campaign received a bronze 2022 Reggie Award in the shopper marketing, retailer-specific or omnichannel marketing category.

The Pokemon Oreo cookies even outperformed the prior No. 1 seller in the category – the limited-edition "Game of Thrones" Oreo cookies. 

"Overall, the campaign far exceeded our expectations for the KPIs, and was successful in engaging and reconnecting with shoppers," Mason says.