Oreo

Drone Dunk

Tech takes a classic to record heights

Challenge

How do you take the classic Oreo Dunk Challenge to new heights, drawing new attention to this iconic American brand?

Solution

Take it to new heights figuratively and literally, and execute a stunt that’s impossible to ignore. Using cinematic drone photography and technology with a new level of innovation and impact, we brought the Oreo Drone Dunk challenge to life, dropping Oreos from the height of the Statue of Liberty with NYC as the backdrop.

When PR powerhouse Weber Shandwick concepted the “Oreo Drone Dunk”, they knew they needed a partner that could fulfill the ambition of their idea. So when they called House of Narrative_, our production arm, we embraced the challenge to bring this stunt and film to life. While the challenges were immense, we tackled the project with enthusiasm to make the impossible happen. The crux of the idea – drones were the star of the film, but were also filming the action, was uncharted territory. The drones needed to look like Oreos with custom fabrications, while still being able to fly. We also created a servo device that could carry and release the actual Oreos. The prototyping and iteration to achieve the branding, flight ability, the height of the statue of liberty and accuracy took weeks of testing.

Under the leadership of our House of Narrative_ director, Lucas McGowen, we had actual pilots flying the oversized Oreos doing the dunks, as well as pilots for the cinema drones, and 4 terrestrial cameras. No fly zones, FAA permits, NY and NJ Film Commissions, NYPD, NJPD, Coast Guard, an armada of boats (tugs, barges, picture boats, safety boats, and a floating video village) were all woven together into a complex production that overtook the Hudson River.

Our biggest battle was with mother nature in March, as wind speeds and plunging temperatures, made the drone flying impossible on the river. We finally found a window in the winter weather and bundled up to shoot some Oreos dunking and make history. The film was edited in real time by our editorial partner and long time N_ collaborator, Post Millennium, in order to meet an immovable PR deadline.
Launching on National Oreo Day, Weber Shandwick pushed out the story with nationwide impact in People, USA Today, GMA, and Youtube.

(We are also happy to report that we insured the project was green – recycling all of our materials, and using expired milk.)

Case Study