Hostess Twinkies: Greatest Marketing Strategy Ever?
(NNA), Irving, TX
Nicholas News Agency (NNA) recently received an anonymously-marked package containing a flash drive with a recording that was apparently made clandestinely by someone attending a Hostess Brands company board meeting.
After listening to the recording, it became clear that there was more to the story behind Hostess Brands' recent woes, which involves being bought out, in part, by Apollo Global Management.
Here is a transcript of the brief recording, in its entirety:
"Gentlemen, Twinkies sales have been stagnate for ten years now. Something has to be done."
"What about Jim's idea?"
"You mean Chocolate Creme Twinkies? That was a disaster!"
"No, the other one. You know, Neapolitan Twinkies."
"Well, I admit that one's not bad, but we need to think outside the box! Gentlemen, Little Debbie's has been slowly creeping up on us with those Zebra Cakes of theirs, and it's time to get serious!"
"Huh? Speak up, son! What have you got?"
"Well, it seems to me the best way to get people to want something is to take it away from them."
NNA has an ongoing investigation into this situation. Could it be that Hostess Brands went bankrupt on purpose to create a new demand for their classic treats? If so, this could be the most ambitious and daring marketing ploy in history, putting them just ahead of Coca Cola's infamous New Coke ploy, which dramatically boosted the sales of the so-called Coke Classic in 1985.
We contacted Apollo Global Management, the company that recently acquired the rights to Twinkies, to see if they were aware of the recording. We reached company spokesperson, Bob Smith, who apparently hasn't been with the company long, as we couldn't find him listed on their web site. Bob told us that Apollo Global is a legitimate company with real products and real employees. He also informed us that their home office is not located in Nigeria.
Frustrated with that dead end, we decided to visit McKee Foods Corporation, the makers of Little Debbie products. We played the recording for their CEO, Olympus Dionysus McKee, who told us we were obviously "on to something" and offered his support in the investigation. We let him examine the flash drive and he suggested we make copies of the file in case something were to happen to the original. We now fully understand the need for such protocol, as Mr. McKee accidentally dropped the flash drive into his paper shredder. We assured him we'd pay for a new shredder.
Send Another Copy
NNA hopes that whoever sent the original flash drive will read this article and send a replacement as soon as possible.
Back On The Shelves
The ever-popular Twinkies are slated to be released for sale once again on July 15th. Experts predict that stores will not be able to keep them on their shelves, as rabid fans, who have been suffering withdrawals for some time, will be buying them up quickly.
Sarah Moore, Irving, Texas resident and Twinkie eater for over thirty years, had this to say about the impending release: "I'm going to stuff three of those little bad boys into my mouth at one time, right there in the grocery aisle." When told about the possible fake bankruptcy, Ms. Moore said, "I may even try for four at one time."
A Secret Code
As to who is behind the leaking of the recording, NNA has an additional piece of evidence which may eventually shed more light on the situation. Besides the flash drive, there was a note included in the package. However, it appears to be written in some sort of secret code.
We passed the note around the offices here at NNA, but no one could decipher the message, so we decided to send it to professional cryptographer, Nick Ariston, who has been working on it for about a week now.
"This one is quite challenging," said Mr. Ariston. "I'm especially intrigued by the accent marks above the O's. I've never seen anything remotely like it. What could they mean?"
Tip Of The Iceberg?
We'll just have to be patient and hope that the message can be de-coded, but here at NNA, we'll keep investigating this story with fervor.
Marketing experts seem to agree that July 15th is going to be one of the biggest grocery shopping days in history. Was it all by design? We plan to find out.
If it turns out that Hostess did, in fact, plan their own demise in order to rise from the ashes like the mythical Phoenix, it will beg the question: Are they the only company ever to pull this stunt?
Hostess or Little Debbie?
Which brand do you buy most often?
The Marketing Bible
This is a must-read for anyone starting out in the marketing business. Countless marketing execs have revealed that this book was why they got into the business in the first place. Dr. Seuss covers every basic marketing angle in this cleverly disguised children's book. Make sure it is prominently displayed in your home library as well as your office.