Put down your Cloud Cakes because on July 15th, Hostess and their favorite child Twinkie (Ding Dongs, Sno Balls, et al as well) will be returning to shelves and more importantly, to our gullets. Preceding the return has been a massive social media and traditional advertising campaign, which essentially began, guerilla-style, even before two private equity firms bought Hostess (following the cakes giant’s declaration of bankruptcy on November 16, 2012).
The brand took to social media for the re-launch, asking fans for photos and videos of their #CakeFace on Instagram and Vine, reviving Twinkie The Kid on the Hostess Facebook page (with over 440,000 likes), and populating the “Comeback Countdown” board on the brand’s Pinterest page with one image every day until the 15th. It’s a fluffy campaign for a fitfully fluffy snack.
— Hostess Snacks (@Hostess_Snacks) July 12, 2013
Hostess street teams in NYC, Chicago, and LA have been handing out “Prepare Your Cake Face” T-shirts and “I saved the Twinkie” buttons, reports USA Today. Not only that, but there’s a Twinkie food truck in the works, and a few giant billboards up in Times Square and LA heralding the return of the Twink. It’s enough to make you wonder what we were thinking when we let them go bankrupt in the first place.
And in case you’re wondering whether this is just another case of the fickle consumer pining irrationally over a flawed ex-boyfriend (Twinkie the Kid), rest assured that the newer, more mature Twinkies last almost twice as long as the old ones (from a 26 day shelf-life to 45 days). Also, the mysterious inclusion of 1/500th of an egg in the cake recipe will remain, we hope, mysteriously included.
Hostess has also attracted a slew of celebrities to comment on their campaign, including Matt Lauer, who (jokingly) suggested that Americans fast over the weekend so they could properly binge on Twinkies the following Monday. Jimmy Fallon had a more wiseacre response:
Mexico has passed the U.S. as the world’s most obese country. Don’t worry–Twinkies are coming back next week, so we’ll be fine. #fallonmono
— jimmy fallon (@jimmyfallon) July 9, 2013
How could your brand best use social media to prepare the world for a new product launch – or re-launch?