Jul 26, 2014
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The Death Defying Twinkie

While my marketing students and I were lamenting the end of Hostess cakes as we know them, a funny thing happened to tie together the most famous of the products -- the Twinkie -- and the nature of destructive forces. But first, some backstory. 

After explaining to a group of foreign exchange students in the class what these cakes were and then laughing when as a native-Texan claimed relief  that Little Debbie's cakes were spared (at least we were still a civilized nation!) we, as a collective community began to lament the end of the Twinkie.

Besides the concern that we should all leave our NYC classroom and get some Hostess and Drakes cakes quickly, there was some nostalgia associated with the little yellow sponge cake with cream filling. I had, not less than 24 hours earlier, heard radio commentary about how a straw could extract the cream though the three holes in the bottom of the cake easily -- something I don't think I'd ever considered.

But the best part was my recollection of the Chevy Silverado 2012 Superbowl ad that, post-Sandy, is hard to watch -- but puts of all things, the Twinkie, to full use. In it, the world is destroyed, the Chevy Silverado drivers are safe and the guy who drove a Ford -- not so good. But love or hate this commercial -- watch the food of choice -- offered up by one survivor at the near end of the spot.

Product placement? No, that's when the Twinkie would have been included in a television show or movie. So how, my students wondered, did they get the Twinkie in the commercial for a truck? A smart creative idea, the permission by Hostess (that is what I suspect) and a gutsy end that was testament to the old idea that Twinkies are indestructible too. 

Better stock up for the next decades before it's too late.

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