In a 30-second spot that will debut this Sunday Feb. 10 during the 2019 Grammy Awards, Khalifa and his son prioritize playing over working by riffing on classic Oreo moves like the twist, dunk and using them as googly eyes.
But the campaign amps up the fun with a clever pun on ‘play’ by turning Oreos into records that actually play Khalifa’s latest full-length track when placed on limited edition Oreo Music Boxes that the brand will give away on Grammy Sunday.
“The Oreo X Wiz Khalifa Limited-Edition Music Box is a miniature record player powered by Oreo cookies. Just place an Oreo on the music box turn table (like you would a record), slide the record arm into place and a song will play,” a campaign spokeswoman told FoodNavigator-USA.
But not just any song will play – an original song Khalifa wrote for Oreo that also plays in the television spot, which will air across major networks, cable, digital channels and social channels.
In the ad, as Khalifa sings, “They say we are too grown for fun,” he motions for Sebastian to wait while he takes a call on his cell phone. When his son later mimics his actions, Khalifa appears hurt and sings “We say playful is never done.”
The two then rambunctiously play and eat Oreos together while Khalifa’s song continues to play in the background, encouraging viewers not to fight the feeling but rather “just let it flow. Stack it up, rack it up, let it go.”
As the song ends with “I got a secret the world should know, let’s stay playful Oreo” an image of an Oreo slides across the brand’s iconic blue background with the bottom cookie sliding down to reveal a white cream-filled smile over the new tagline “Stay Playful.”
The musician who is known for making albums to listen to while smoking and relaxing may seem like an odd fit for a family-friendly brand like Oreo, but Khalifa’s relationship with his son Sebastian is the focus of the campaign and underscores the brand’s values.
“Wiz Khalifa’s relationship with his son Sebastian embodies the light-hearted, playful spirit that Oreo wants to help spread in the world. People everywhere have enjoyed witnessing Wiz’s grounded parenting approach and his fun-loving relationship with son via their social channels, and it inspired us as well,” the spokeswoman for the campaign said.
In a behind the scenes video, Khalifa says this playful spirit is also what drew him to the brand. He says that Oreo represents “a forever childishness” to him and that Oreos have the ability to remind you of that kid in you.
He also notes his family favors the Original flavor, which might also explain his fondness for the classic twist and dunk moves seen in the ad.
Big shoes to fill
The new campaign has big shoes to follow given the brand’s many successful advertising initiatives in the past, including the most recent creative platform, “Wonderfilled,” which was introduced in 2013.
Unlike the campaigns before it and the current campaign, playfulness took a back seat in Wonderfilled and the campaign instead focused on sharing.
In a 30-second spot during that campaign, Owl City sings an exclusive song for Oreo about sharing the cookies as a way to open communication and potentially come to a shared understanding. It also encouraged consumers to see the world with a new sense of awe and others' perspectives.