Worth 1,000 Words

Foote, Cone & Belding gives Oreo cookies the near-silent treatment in a new spot starring two deaf actors.
“Signing” is the New York shop’s latest ad featuring what it calls “the Oreo ritual”–the act of twisting the cookie apart, licking the frosting that connects the two wafers and dunking it.
The 30-second spot shows actress Terrylene Magenelli and her 6-year-old son, Gianni, conversing via sign language in a park as she teaches him the “ritual.” He patiently watches and then signs that he wants to do it the way dad showed him.
When she asks the difference, Gianni stuffs the whole cookie in his mouth. She laughs, the only sound from either. The ad features only background noise.
Art director Bob Phillips and copywriter Bob Neuman, group creative directors on Oreo, planned to match two deaf actors until they found the Magenellis–a real-life mother and son who fit the bill. Director Rob Lieberman communicated via interpreter.
“The way we chose to handle the ending it’s what any kid would do,” said Neuman. “The kid was just another kid, and that’s what we thought was important to do.”
–Sloane Lucas