What Advertisers Can Learn From The Twinkies Comeback

twinkiesAs Elizabeth posted back in June on the CEM blog, Twinkies have made a triumphant return since the Hostess brand went under in November of 2012. Now that Twinkies are officially back on the shelves, they are earning both record demand and record profits. While this was obviously not a targeted advertising strategy on the part of Hostess, the incredible demand for Twinkies shows how well this sequence of events works to boost one’s brand. Hostess has been around for years, and while many may not have noticed or purchased Twinkies in their everyday lives, they certainly did once the brand was gone.

Twinkies Relaunch Brings Big Profits

Twinkies officially reemerged in stores on July 15th, after a $3 million guerilla advertising campaign titled, “The sweetest comeback in the history of ever.” The company has reported a consumer demand that outweighs their production capacity by three to six times, even though they are operating all of their bakeries. In addition, Hostess has stated that current Twinkie sales outweigh even their most historic levels by seven times. Retailers who stock Twinkies also reported that many sold out within hours of the snack cakes appearing on shelves.

The Choice Not to Change

One reason why this comeback has been so successful was the decision not to modernize Twinkies or other popular Hostess products. Originally, the new owners of Hostess planned on adding new flavors as well as low-sugar and gluten-free options to consumer favorites such as Twinkies. However, they chose instead to bring these features to new products down the line. Staying true to these popular snack items was a good move, as changes usually do work out very well when it comes to such an iconic brand.

Why This Works

Why was this advertising strategy so successful? With the public outcry over Hostess failing and Twinkies being discontinued, we saw how strongly consumers will react to items that are viewed as iconic becoming unavailable. In particular, Twinkies tend to remind us of our childhood, which makes us feel even more strongly about keeping the brand alive. By making “the sweetest comeback in the history of ever,” Twinkies were branded yet again as a historic icon in the form of a snack cake.

How excited were you about the triumphant return of Twinkies?

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Elizabeth K

Elizabeth Kent is a recent graduate with an M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from Brandeis University. She earned her B.A. from Smith College with a major in the Study of Women and Gender and a minor in Jewish Studies. Elizabeth recently relocated from the Boston area back to Western Massachusetts, where she spends her free time volunteering with a local non-profit organization. Elizabeth has worked as a writing tutor, archival intern, research assistant, and retail associate. Her interests include studying pop culture, kittens, and making meals with as little cooking as possible.

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