HomeSocial Media MarketingCampaign Trail: Pop-Tarts’ edible mascot made ‘ultimate sacrifice’ to win bowl season

Campaign Trail: Pop-Tarts’ edible mascot made ‘ultimate sacrifice’ to win bowl season

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The times when faculty soccer bowl video games had easy names just like the Rose Bowl and Orange Bowl are lengthy gone; for years, manufacturers have stepped as much as sponsor the match-ups that fill the TV schedule through the holidays. As soon as the purview of main entrepreneurs in banking, telecom and insurance coverage, bowl video games have more and more seemed exterior the field for sponsorships to fund and draw consideration to the rising season. 

Extra so than controversy or the eventual winner of the Jan. 8 championship sport, it’s a type of new sponsors that can doubtless be essentially the most memorable a part of this bowl season because of an attention-grabbing game-day stunt by Pop-Tarts.

When the Kellanova model introduced plans for an edible mascot again in November, few may have guessed what the activation would entail or how it will captivate an viewers of shoppers who in any other case would not have been watching the competition between Kansas State and NC State on Dec. 28.

In a now-viral second, the Pop-Tarts mascot emerged from an enormous toaster that had been wheeled onto the sphere. Holding an indication that stated “Goals actually do come true” and dancing to Donna Summer season’s disco basic “Sizzling Stuff,” the mascot then descended into the toaster and was “reworked” into an enormous toaster pastry that was devoured by the Kansas State workforce.

“For sixty years, Pop-Tarts has sacrificed every part for taste and our mascot on the first-ever Pop-Tarts Bowl wasn’t going to be any totally different,” stated Heidi Ray, senior director of name advertising and marketing for Pop-Tarts, in emailed feedback. “Figuring out mascots are the final word image of workforce spirit, we needed to go above and past to wow the group each at residence and within the stadium, thus the first-ever edible mascot was born…after which eaten.”

For Pop-Tarts, the activation — in all its darkly bizarre or weirdly darkish glory — grew out of the model’s “Brokers of Loopy Good” platform. Launched over the summer season, the model’s new artistic route calls again to its “Loopy Good” adverts from the 2000s, however with a twist: whereas earlier adverts featured anthropomorphized Pop-Tarts fleeing from hungry individuals, the brand new marketing campaign options characters who crave being eaten.

“The Pop-Tarts Bowl mascot was an IRL manifestation of this marketing campaign, working across the stadium, interacting with followers and referees and gleefully remodeling right into a game-winning snack for the victors, identical to in our most up-to-date ads,” Ray defined.

“We needed to make sure there was no confusion round how Frosted Strawberry felt about being dropped into the toaster and eaten by the successful workforce. Our mascot, like our iconic toaster pastries, was born to be loved by followers. Because the signal Frosted Strawberry held whereas being lowered into an enormous toaster stated, this final sacrifice is what its desires had been made from.”

Profitable on the sphere of social media  

Embracing an off-beat humorousness at its inaugural bowl sport has been a boon for Pop-Tarts on social media. Over the past six months, round 30% of all Pop-Tart mentions on social media originated from the sport, per Talkwalker information shared with Advertising Dive. On game-day, the mascot “dominated conversations” across the bowl sport. 

“Sentiment is a difficult one as you get the feelings of the sport impacting the outcomes — plus there have been some darkish jokes associated to the mascot toasting,” in accordance with a Talkwalker spokesperson. “However total, the sport was about +20% web sentiment, and mentions across the mascot had been +30.2% web sentiment.”

Pop-Tarts is taking the social engagement in stride, monitoring social dialog, amplifying its owned content material throughout platforms and interacting with user-generated content material on Instagram, X and TikTok.

“We’re fortunate to have such engaged followers who embraced our edible mascot and injected their very own quirky, artistic humor into their social commentary and content material. We will’t cease watching all of the memes, chatter, movies and tales taking up our feeds and stay up for seeing what else our ingenious followers give you,” Pop-Tarts’ Ray stated.

The extent of social engagement, particularly when in comparison with different bowl sponsorships, might be a lesson for different entrepreneurs trying to the faculty soccer house to interact with shoppers. 

Amongst all bowl video games sponsors, Pop-Tarts had 4 occasions the quantity of engagement every time their model was talked about, versus each different bowl sport, and has been essentially the most engaged bowl sport wherever manufacturers had been included, per information from sports activities and leisure intelligence platform SponsorUnited.

“Now there’s this roadmap of a model that was in a position to go viral by leveraging this bowl sport that no person possibly cared that a lot about, apart from the 2 faculties, and hastily, there’s this large alternative — this can be a potential low-cost entry means for [brands] to essentially personal one thing and create one thing actually viral in nature,” stated Bob Lynch, founder and CEO of SponsorUnited.

“Pop-Tarts, as a model, traditionally has extra those who have had a Pop-Tart than those who know something about NC State or Kansas State,” Lynch famous. “They carry a brand new viewers and model worth to the dynamic.”


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