The once-retired Hostess snack, the Twinkie, made their official nation-wide “comeback” today with a marketing campaign that we just can’t ignore. It has been eight months since the nutritionally challenged treats went on hiatus, devastating many fans across the nation. Alas, their suffering has now come to an end.
This celebratory re-emergence was made possible by the private equity firms, Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co., who made a $410 million deal with Hostess after it filed for bankruptcy. In taking over the popular snack brand, the firms have announced not only the return of Twinkies, but also of CupCakes, Donettes, Zingers, HoHos and Ding Dongs. Sponge cake fanatics rejoice!
While we aren’t exactly scrambling to hit up the grocery stores for some classic treats of our own today, we sure do applaud the ingenious tagline: “The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever.” Complete with its clever play on words and its grammar faux pas, the hash-taggable campaign has taken social media sites by storm.
Masterminded by advertising agency, Bernstein-Rein, this aggressive campaign has generated quite the buzz on social media — and rightfully so. In another ingenious move, the company launched an interactive Vine campaign asking users to “prepare their cakeface” and record themselves prepping for the return of their favorite treats. In addition to their impact on the interwebs, Bernstein-Rein played up the anticipation by incorporating outdoor billboards in large cities like New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago, with only three inclusions: the Hostess logo, an image of the product and the “7.15.13” relaunch date.
To top it all off, the agency implemented some good ole’ guerrilla marketing efforts in the same locations as their billboards, taking to the streets with t-shirts and buttons that read, “I saved Twinkies.” As of today, the street teams will also launch a national food truck tour in the same cities, where they will give out free products and continue to spread the word about their sweet comeback.
Hostess noted that they have plans of marketing their products differently this round. They are targeting those between 18 – 34 years old, most of which the company admits most likely do not purchase their products today. With this healthier-eating and more calorie conscious age group in mind, they have plans to develop tasty treats that are lower in calories, higher in fiber and whole grains, and gluten-free, as well as those in smaller packaging sizes.
There are many routes a brand can go when positioning a comeback. We like Hostess’ simple approach, calling it what it was: a sweet comeback. All they had to do was start the clock on the relaunch and leave it to the fans to take care of the rest. Without the loyal Twinkies lovers out there, this campaign would have meant nothing. By allowing their fan base to interact with the brand, share their love for the cream-filled sponge cakes and help celebrate the return of the most popular snack cakes out there, “The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever” will be just that. Successful campaigns don’t need to be complicated, as long as you give people something to talk about… and something to look forward to.