“Look! It’s a U.F.O.!” No. It’s an O.Re.O., Oreo cookie drones to be precise.
Did you know March 6th was National Oreo Cookie Day? Neither did we until Nabisco, maker of “milk’s favorite cookie,” filmed a stunt over New York’s East River.
In probably one of the most elaborate and tedious to set up drone promotions ever conceived, five pilots and an organizer set up hundreds of cups of milk on a barge anchored in the river. The quadcopters that were dressed up to look like Oreo cookies from the side were then flown high over the cups. The organizer gave the pilots a countdown to make final aim adjustments before hitting a button that released the cookies. Cameras caught the dunks, and at least one was a bullseye.
The Oreo cookie drones were performing triple duty by celebrating National Oreo Cookie Day as well as the 105th anniversary of the cookie. Promoting Nabisco’s “Show Us Your Dunk” sweepstakes, which began in early February, was its third purpose.
Nabisco has challenged Oreo fans to film themselves creatively dunking their cookies. They can then share the video on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #OREODunkSweepstakes. Alternatively, entrants can share their video, and the hashtag as a comment to the sweepstakes post on the official Oreo Facebook page.
The company has also produced several commercials and social media videos featuring celebrities dunking the cookie. Christina Aguilera has done a couple of spots for both television and YouTube.
According to Chief Marketer, “To drum up excitement for the promotion, three high-profile dunkers are showing up in TV spots and social videos: international recording artist Christina Aguilera, Brazilian football star Neymar da Silva Santo, Jr. and Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal.”
Obviously, one does not need an Oreo cookie drone to enter the contest. Like all sweepstakes, no purchase is necessary. However, it seems that it would be hard to show off one’s dunk without buying a package of cookies. Maybe you can borrow a friend’s Oreo.
The Oreo stunt is not the first time that remotely piloted vehicles have been used in a promotion, nor is it the first time the drones have been disguised.
According to Digital Trends, “a ‘human torch drone’ was launched into the skies over Long Island one recent summer evening for a video to highlight the new Fantastic Four flick.”
The stunt occurred last August, just before the release of the film. The Nassau County Fire Service Academy was on hand to oversee the potentially hazardous feat that showered hot sparks everywhere (see below).
While the Oreo drones were not nearly as dramatic as the Human Torch flying through the skies of Long Island, it exemplifies how drones are becoming more mainstream. It also shows how the demand for experienced drone pilots is increasing. Hobbyists are finding that their hobby could quickly become a lucrative career.
Drones are being used for everything from simple real estate tours and aerial photography to movie and advertisement production. Since drones are cheaper than using a helicopter, film producers and advertisers have begun using them for aerial shots and other things, as in the case of the Oreo cookie drones.
However, one cannot just take his or her Air Hogs copter down to a production studio and show off one’s mad skills. According to CNET, operating a commercial drone requires a license from the FAA, which they only just started giving out last summer. There is a fee and a testing requirement, but the test is multiple choice, and the fee is nominal. However, the license is necessary is you want to say sell your aerial photos.
CNET states, “You could get fined $1,100 (or more) for operating your unmanned aerial system (UAS) for business purposes without FAA approval.”
So get a license and fly as many Oreo Cookie drones as you want, but I’d advise against flying a human torch on your own.
[Featured Image by Scott Olson/Getty Images]