The Oreo Turns 100, With a Nod to the Past

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ON March 6, 1912 — before the Titanic sailed or sank, before the first Opening Day at Fenway Park — the National Biscuit Company made its first sale of Oreo sandwich cookies, to a grocer in Hoboken named S. C. Thuesen.

A century later, the brand’s present owner, Kraft Foods, is readying a centennial celebration that looks ahead as well as back.

The commemoration takes the form of what Kraft Foods is calling the first worldwide campaign for Oreo that is fully integrated, including traditional and new media, stores, events, promotions and public relations. There is even a tangible, edible way for consumers to take part: a limited-edition variety called Birthday Cake Oreos.

The campaign is indicative of two trends reshaping consumer marketing. One, referred to on Madison Avenue as authenticity, involves responding to a growing interest among consumers seeking value in the provenance of brands as they search for products whose quality has been tested over time....

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