Hostess Twinkies R.I.P.

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Given that many of the other posts focused on more serious current events, such as the heightening conflict in the Middle East, I thought that it would mix things up a bit to feature a subject with much less importance — to most, at least.

The recent demise of Hostess Bakeries, and its affiliate brand, Drake’s Cakes, caught many who were not involved in the tense labour stalemate by surprise.  Soon all of the traditional media outlets had features to say good-bye to the endeared brand.  However, social media may have provided better coverage than its older media sibling in that it mobilized informative, light-hearted and strange communication about the event.

First, the information.  On Pinterest, someone posted a recipe so that die-hard Twinkies fans can make homemade equivalents long after the last package leaves the shelf.

Next, there was political satire on Tumblr, showing a tombstone for Twinkie the Kid, the brand’s mascot, and offering whom to blame.  Lastly, a fun reference to a Twinkie representing paranormal activity from the classic Ghostbusters movie was referenced on YouTube.

Social media continues to provide interesting ways to communicate, to bond over a “loss”, and perhaps, to form a new tribe to band together to resurrect a new, healthier Twinkie (or not).

How have you used social media to communicate your frustration with a shared loss or change?  Did you find commiseration or did you discover exciting new ways to cope, and to move ahead?

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4 thoughts on “Hostess Twinkies R.I.P.

  1. I was never a Twinkie fan, but I did notice the brand and its beloved products trending on Twitter last week. Just goes to show that people were saying goodbye to a little piece of their childhoods when the company went bankrupt. Who knows maybe social media will help to bring back the company someday due to the amount of press it got got on these sites.

  2. It has been a while since I was a twinkie fan, and come to think of it I don’t think I’ve eaten one in at least a decade. Despite my lack of appreciation for the Twinkie, every post apocalyptic book or movie I’ve ever been exposed to has assured me that when mankind was on its last knees, twinkies would still be there on the shelves of a rundown gas station in Iowa. It was this imaginary world of despair that elevated the twinkie to a high end meal.

    That being said, there is no place more fitting for the discussion of twinkies than the world of social media, a place where Big Bird is seriously debated amongst adults and Lord Voldemort has 2 million followers.

  3. @frankjdimauro: Frank, I agree. We have had many interesting and serious discussion about valuable uses of SM, including those on Sandy and the Middle East conflict covered in last week’s class. But SM isn’t always serious, and the users aren’t always focused on strategic business uses.

    However, I thought that there may be some actual business value to the lamenting of the loss of Hostess & Drakes Cakes on the various SM platforms. It’s quite possible that these brands may command a greater value in bankrupcy, if indeed purchased, due to the goodwill displayed on SM.

    Also, the conversations may be turned around before purchase to ask those fans to support the brands as they restart under different ownership. It all depends on if one views the social media platforms through the proper lens, and then how they adjust some of their marketing communications to leverage those platforms to their advantage.

  4. Social media sites are at their finest when it comes to taking a pop-culture subject (such as Twinkies, or in this specific case the death of the Twinkie) and making a humorous, light-hearted joke out of it. Any viral video, meme or other humorous bit of content owes much to social media sites, those mediums make it easier for content to be spread. And perhaps this is why many individuals have a tough time using social media sites for real, “serious news” and other “serious content.” We have this expectation that anything retweeted or posted on Facebook is supposed to be funny, or taken light heartedly – to such an extent that we (and by we, I mean the general public) want to only rely on social media for pop-culture and humor related news, and save the more traditional forms of media (e.g. websites, TV news, etc.) for the more “serious” news. Just a thought really, as those it seems like this is less and less the case as times move forward.

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