A $2 Billion Hostess Success Story

 
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The new company focused on alternative marketing. It worked.
— Wall Street Journal

A Passion for Snacking

A $2 Billion Hostess Success Story


Growing Hostess to a $2+ billion company in a matter of years was anchored in a strategic marketing vision. All efforts were built around THREE STRATEGIC PILLARS:

 

1.  REGAIN SHELF SPACE            

2.  EVOLVE AND AGE DOWN THE AUDIENCE

3.  MAKE THE BRAND RELEVANT


 
 

STORY ONE: 

Finding the Sweet Spot

 
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Hostess Snacks’ main audience was the Grocery Store buying in multi-pack. But to achieve landmark sales, we knew we also had to talk with c-store shoppers and Millennials buying single packs.

The winning formula hit the Sweet Spot – resulting in very different channel and messaging strategies across the highly coveted audience.  

 
 
 

STORY TWO: 

Giving Moms a Reason to Buy Hostess

 
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31x Lower CPMs For Social Broadcast than National TV

“WIN THE SEASON” THRU RECIPE VIDEOS

BR fueled growth by developing connection campaigns beyond the traditional network TV approach. The team challenge drove relevancy and appetite for Hostess core products.

The idea was simple and sweet: Join the social recipe video trend. Hostess "won the season" through social broadcast campaigns by connecting with Millennial and Gen X parents.

 

  • Garnered over 10MM views and a CPM of $1.40 across Facebook and Instagram.
  • Average cost per view (CPV) just $0.01 with campaigns as low as $0.003.
  • Generated more than 60,000 social shares
  • 100% completion rate on Instagram and a 63% rate on Facebook.

Results


 
 

STORY THREE: 

Old Brand, New Voice

 
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One Organic Tweet = 4 Million Impressions 

stand out from the crowd 

BR set out to make Hostess more socially relevant and to age down the brand’s traditional audience using social marketing.

Grocery Moms already had Hostess top of mind. We wanted to go after the Millennial males. But how appeal to the C-Store Dude without alienating the ever-loyal mom base? BR built a social persona that appealed to both audiences. By creating Jimmy Fallon-esque tone, BR gave Hostess a culturally relevant voice and join totally new conversations. 

 

Owning the Day

Pushing the boundary and walking the line between sarcasm and playfulness is where BR hit its stride. BR stretched Hostess’ definition of appropriate—understanding irreverence breaks through the clutter of social.

The TOUCHDOWN post from MLB’s opening day is a prime example of how BR took this new voice and put Hostess at the forefront of national conversations. The tweet was posted organically on opening day. It exploded.

Throughout the day, the Hostess tweet—crafted and published by BR—was picked up by national media outlets including ESPN, ABC News and Adweek. The next morning the tweet was featured on the Today Show, and Good Morning America called it the second most engaging tweet of Opening Day. Second to only the MLB itself. The tweet garnered 3.8MM impressions and put Hostess and its new voice on the national radar as a brand to watch on social.

 

THIRD PARTY ENDORSERS

1.  NBC TODAY SHOW

2. ABC

3. AD WEEK

 

  • Touchdown post 100% organic resulted in 3.8 M impressions

  •  Put Hostess on national radar as brand to watch on social

Results


 
 

STORY FOUR:

Hostess @ SXSW

 
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183% increase over campaign goal

DELIVER EXCLUSIVE CONTENT TO DEMAND EVENTS

In a continued effort to connect with an aspirational target and break into more conversations, BR leveraged event activations and elite influencers. Through activations at SXSW Music Festival, we connected consumers with the brand more deeply than simply snacking. Inserting Hostess into the conversation surrounding a festival like SXSW helped age down the audience of Hostess fans.


CONTENT TO HIGHLIGHT: 

1. HOSTESS SOCIAL

2. MEGAN BATOON POSTS

3. BUCKING TWINKIE BOOTH

 

The SXSW booth provided a platform for using an elite influencer to heighten awareness of the campaigns. This put Hostess in front of a well-known personality while reducing negative chatter. 

 


  • Drove engagement at a fraction of the cost of other brands at SXSW
  • 183% increase over goal in campaign reach
  • Garnered 1MM video views w/ younger aspirational target
  • Shifted the conversation to all positive

Results


 
 

STORY Five:

Leverage Partner Equity

 
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183% Above Campaign Goal

Team Up

Bernstein-Rein leveraged partner brands’ equity to extend positive reach. With partner brands like Minions, Ghostbusters, Mars Candies and Carl’s Jr., Bernstein-Rein made Hostess top of mind for consumers outside its immediate reach. 

 


BR created billboards placed in Times Square in the Ghostbusters trailer. This led to Hostess stealing share of voice from all other brands featured in the trailer. Buzzfeed and other news outlets picked up the Hostess billboard as a potential Easter egg as a nod to the Twinkie mention in the original Ghostbusters movie.

Through partnerships with the Minions franchise and AMC Theatres, BR took advantage of the visual similarities between Twinkies and Minions and capitalize on the Minions’ fan base. 

 

THIRD PARTY ENDORSERS

1.  BUZZFEED

2. IRI 2016 STATE OF SNACK FOOD INDUSTRY

 

  • IRi 2016 State of the Snack Food Industry – sited Hostess Snacks as one of top brands in movie-themed innovations
  • Tens of millions of impressions (owned, earned, paid) generated through partnerships
  • Cross-promoted posts with AMC Theatres drove some of the highest engagement Hostess saw in 2015.

Results