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Hostess’ on-pack, X-Men promotion integrates promo codes with Facebook

The limited-time introduction of eXtreme Crème Twinkies in new blue raspberry and strawberry blast flavors features promo codes in specially marked packages that can be redeemed via Hostess X-Men Adventure Sweepstakes participants can earn additional entries by inviting friends to enter on Facebook and by following Hostess on Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram.

“Social has the benefit of being in everybody’s budget,” said Adam Lavine, cofounder/CEO of FunMobility Inc., Pleasanton, CA.

“You are guaranteed traffic and you don’t have to be disciplined about finding the right formula or code to generate consumption.”

Digital becomes delectable
Twentieth Century Fox and Hostess have teamed up with a promotion that doles out dozens of daily prizes such as X-Men gear packages, movie tickets, Blu-ray collections, posters and coupons for Hostess snack cakes.

Additionally, the brand will give away one grand prize — a trip for four to Montreal — where the feature film was shot. The trip includes rock climbing, speed boating and a high-flying trapeze experience.

Twinkie knows a thing or two about stirring up nostalgia as a marketing technique.

These anachronisms of pop culture were a central plot point in 2009’s Zombieland film, and a savior of the fictional collapse of mankind in one episode of Family Guy.

After the confectionary firm went into collapse two years ago, it relied heavily on a free medium, social media, to hit mass markets when announcing their return, purely by the organic spread of buzz.

When the news broke last July of its comeback, more interest in the brand was generated via social media than Hostess had seen in decades. It only took a Facebook page and a single tweet from the @Hostess_Snacks account for the word to go viral.

Social branding
Hostess is hoping to activate loyalty through its social network efforts. This could be helpful for the brand because it stretches marketing dollars and creates more visibility and awareness.

The food and beverage industry requires constant always-on marketing tactics, and social media works because it’s sustainable and caters to the short attention spans of today’s consumers.

While Hostess has relied on nostalgia to carry it forward in the past, it has seemingly weaned off hype, finding other ways to integrate itself into the daily lives of consumers.

Partnering with major brands like 20th Century Fox is one of these.

Social efforts do not create loyalty, but sampling does. By offering products based up limited availability will translate into purchase and devotion.

Although Hostess has reintegrated itself into our lunch boxes and snack drawers, it is important to note that that it can take advantage of the changing consumer by applying new technologies.

“Social is a great one to many broadcast medium,” Mr. Lavine said. “That’s going to be consumed by a large audience and is low budget with big rewards.”

Final Take:
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York