Who doesn’t like s’mores? It’s camping weather. Anyone camper who thinks about a sweet snack will of course think of the campfire favorite, s’mores. Oreo wants Oreo S’mores to pop into people’s heads whenever they think of a sweet snack not just when camping. The brand pop, or mental availability of Oreo S’mores is improved if the brand behaves unexpectedly.
The influence of distinctiveness on mental availability is a very general rule. A person dressing a little differently than others in a meeting will be better remembered and perceived as more influential in the meeting even if she contributes no more than anyone else.
With this ad, S’mores is acting unexpectedly. The ad stars an “unidentifiable forest creature” named S’morey. He responds to a person building a campfire in an odd place, a canoe. S’morey puts out the fire and give the fire starter what he really wants, a s’more. Only this s’more comes in a bag, and is ready to eat requiring no campfire. The 90’s animation in the spot adds to its distinctiveness and is reminiscent of what viewers were watching when first introduced to s’mores.
Building a campfire in a canoe is bazar behavior but it does more than give the brand mental pop. Since it is impossible to show directly how good something tastes, advertisers show the extreme things a person will do to have the product. It is obvious to viewers that the extreme behavior is caused by the great taste of the product.
The ad is unexpected, memorable and shows viewers how they can have s’mores without a campfire.