Was Hostess' Bizarre #OpeningDay Tweet an Epic Fail or Savvy Social Media Marketing?
Snack-cake maker Hostess is either earnestly enthused about baseball’s Opening Day or couldn’t care less.
Yesterday, the company behind Twinkies, Ho Hos and Ding Dongs fired off a photo tweet of two vanilla cupcakes decorated like baseballs with a caption reading “Touchdown.”
A baffled Twitterverse reeled at the misstep. “Pssssst, @Hostess_Snacks,” Sports Illustrated tweeted, “we think you might be mixing up your sports.”
But even if Hostess had indeed fumbled, the company opted to play up the post with a knowing wink. “WHAT?!” the company wrote back. “We're just excited that Sportsball started again today.” To the social media-savvy Denny’s, who was loling at the exchange, Hostess wrote, “We can't wait to watch the teams do the thing and win the points!”
A Hostess spokesperson insisted that the tweet was intentional from the get-go, leading AdWeek to call the viral ploy on #OpeningDay “a genius move.” Hostess’ senior director of marketing, Ellen Copaken, explained to CNBC that “The 'Touchdown' line was intentional; it's fun and aimed at young audiences who are in on the running joke -- which, of course, is the goalllll."
Copaken added that the tweet was part of a two-year-old marketing campaign entitled ‘The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever.' The campaign, which aims to contemporize the Hostess brand, kicked off in July 2013 after the company filed for bankruptcy and was forced to temporarily discontinue Twinkie production -- until Hostess was resurrected by private equity firms several months later.