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Hostess

The Sweetest Comeback

After an eight-month hiatus, Twinkies and CupCakes needed to be more than just “back on shelves.” The iconic but aging brand needed to connect with a younger generation of snack lovers. Enter “The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever,” an integrated digital, social and out-of-home campaign that roused sponge cake cravings across the country.

We whetted the appetites of eager consumers and left stores sold out of product within 48 hours of the launch.


The Relaunch of Hostess: told in 2½ minutes

First, we deployed street teams to major markets across the country to tell consumers to “Prepare Your CakeFace.” They posted flyers, handed out shirts, and conducted “mouth yoga” classes.

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We teased the return on high-profile buildingscapes in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. News of the date when products would return caused consumers to share photos of these massive displays on their social channels.


We built a digital destination called prepareyourcakeface.com to house thousands of consumer-generated vine and instagram videos. Here, Americans stretched their mouths in unison in preparation for The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever.

#CakeFace became a national trend on Vine, with consumers adding thousands of videos to the site during a three-week period before the product hit shelves.


Some Numbers

  • 04

    Average minutes spent on cakeface site

  • 464.9

    million campaign twitter impressions

  • 25%

    Increase in Facebook fans’ ages 18-34


Social Posts
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During the prelaunch period, we exploded with original Hostess content across eight different social channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Tumblr and Pinterest. We helped consumers count down the days. We celebrated pop-culture events like the Duck Dynasty premiere, Shark Week, the Sharknado phenomenon, Adrian Peterson's Comeback Player of the Year ESPY Award, and the birth of the royal baby. We even recognized a mullet family for one of our #TBT posts.


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We created a VIP Package for the "First Batch" of Twinkies. Our Partners at LAK PR sent it to a list of key influencers, including jimmy fallon, conan o'brien and snoop dogg. the next day, Hostess was written into pop culture.


Together with our partners at LAK PR, we relaunched Hostess on the NBC Today Show.


NBC Today Show Event
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Followed by a news helicopter, our snack truck, with Al Roker riding shotgun, made the first Twinkie delivery on live TV. We amplified the event on social, helping to spur a nationwide #Twinkies trend on Twitter.


In Hostess’ home market, we built a massive, 48-foot-long, 2,000-pound Twinkie. Passing commuters took notice and after tens of thousands of photo shares, so did the rest of the country.
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HostessCakes.com tapped the Google Maps API to show consumers where snacks had been “spotted” in their areas. The interactive heatmap also displayed location-based buzz, pulling in Tweets with Hostess keywords.


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To continue building buzz in the digital space, we partnered with BuzzFeed to create native advertising.


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Larger-than-life Twinkies and CupCakes continued to appear on premium locations in major markets, including Los Angeles’ 12-story, triple-tower Figueroa Hotel. After launch, the message changed from the date to "The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever."

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Some Numbers

  • 185%

    Increase in Twinkie sales (year over year)

  • 53%

    Increase in Cupcake sales (year over year)


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Twinkie bus dominations and taxi toppers rolled through major cities in America, contributing to a grand total of more than 96,000,000 out-of-home impressions.


To sustain the public’s hunger, we sent our snack truck on a nationwide tour, going everywhere from the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago to the Miami Seaquarium. We passed out shirts, buttons and Hostess snack cakes, tracking the entire journey on social media.
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We didn’t just return Hostess to market. We elevated it to market dominance. Many stores across the country were sold out of product within 48 hours of the launch. In fact, official sales numbers showed performance was seven times greater than the previous record. It was truly a comeback for the ages.