Cracker Jack, the long-beloved molasses concoction created over a century ago, is about to embark on its first major ad push in recent years -- and it’s wagering entirely on social media to get gums snapping.

In a move that illustrates how iconic brands steeped in nostalgia are finding new life on social media, the Pepsi-owned snack company will unveil its Surprise Inside Project tomorrow on Facebook.

“In the past, the way we would have relaunched a brand like Cracker Jack is with a big advertising campaign,” Pepsi’s senior vice president of marketing, Ram Krishnan, told The New York Times. “But when we talked to who our consumer is, that didn’t make a lot of sense because we really wanted to engage in a two-way conversation with them.”

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The Surprise Inside Project is inspired, of course, by Cracker Jack’s much-adored packaged prizes. The contest asks Facebookers to describe “a small, yet meaningful surprise for your family for $20 or less.” The company will choose 200 winners, and deliver each winning entry in a 6x13-inch custom-branded box.

Having spent nominal ad dollars in recent years, reports The New York Times, Cracker Jack is hoping to drum up buzz with the campaign -- particularly among its core consumers of mothers aged 25 to 45.

And to bolster its meager social following -- a mere 104,000 likes on Facebook -- the company is teaming up with mom blogger Liz Gumbinner, who will promote the initiative on her websites and social channels. 

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