Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi | Client: Mondelez Europe  



Gaming is now the largest sector in the entertainment business, with a worth of $176bn in 2021 – making this industry bigger than Hollywood. A recent report, published by DFC Intelligence, has revealed that nearly 3.1 billion people worldwide play video games, which is about 40% of the world’s population. Gaming as a hobby and interest has never been more popular and in OREO’s race to be the treat of choice among European millennials, showing up for this passion point is a fast way to drive trial and accelerate growth potential among our target. To bring more playfulness into the world and make gaming more fun for everyone, the world’s number one cookie, OREO, and international gaming giant, Xbox, partnered to create an unmissable activation and unlock playfulness in real life.


Everyone loves to unlock hidden features, whether in games or even in real life. And the easiest way to do it is by using Cheat Codes. A sequence of combinations that allow players to unlock special items in the game that are not available through standard play. Cheat codes have become so common in everyday life. People are trying to find cheat codes for activities entirely unrelated to gaming. In 2023, OREO and Xbox brought the nostalgia around cheat codes back, inviting consumers to create combinations with cookies. For the first time in Europe, OREO has launched 6 different embossments, inspired by the Xbox controller buttons, giving the cookies an innovative role and creating a gaming experience. From the iconic Xbox logo to the signature A, B, X, Y and arrow buttons, consumers were able to create combinations with the OREO Xbox Special Edition and unlock prizes on our website.


OREO and Xbox decided to come up with OREO-themed exclusive in-game content for three of the Xbox’s top-played games: Forza Horizon 5, Halo Infinite and Sea of Thieves. Each of these great games has a dedicated community of gamers with new players joining all the time. By launching 6 new designs and giving the cookies an innovative role, OREO and Xbox were able to draw the attention of all ages/backgrounds and various types of media, influencers, the gaming community, and society. The campaign’s success was based on both the creativity of its idea and the meticulous execution down to a micro-level: mass media communication and gaming communication were treated with equal importance in the tailor-made target group approach. To achieve true impact, each Business Unit carefully chose its own activations in line with the local market and preferences.


The campaign was launched in January 2023 and distributed locally and globally through YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, OOH, influencers, newsletters, points of sales, and local activations, highlighting cheat cookies everywhere. For a chance to win prizes, fans were invited to visit the campaign website www.oreo.eu and scan the real cookies in order to find the right cheat codes and unlock the prizes. By using machine learning for analyzing the cookies and a native web platform, we could achieve an average of 90% accuracy in detecting different cookie embossments, making the user experience flow super friendly and even easier for everyone to participate. To avoid any type of cheating against our platform, we changed the codes every 20 minutes.


The cheat cookies took the gaming community by storm with more than 28.6k mentions and 6,7 potential billion impressions in 3,5 months (2nd Jan. – 17th April). The campaign had a very high engagement rate reaching 5.8%. From trying to cheat by using images of the cookies from the internet to selling the skins on eBay, fans from all over the world did everything to get our limited in-game content even in countries where the campaign wasn’t live. So far, 827.419 items were unlocked, and we are still counting. OREO Xbox Cheat Cookies. Making cookies part of pop culture – with a little cheating.