Though its name has held an iconic status among baseball fans for more than a century, Cracker Jack’s new target consumer is moms aged 25 to 45, and its owners are trying to tap social media to ensure they get to it, according to the New York Times.
“Learning to translate the marketing power of nostalgia and baseball into something that resonates with young moms won’t be easy,” wrote Paul Conley in a blog post on Food Dive.
Indeed, Cracker Jack has only about 100,000 Facebook followers, which pales in comparison to other Frito-Lay snack brands like Doritos, which has 12 million, and Cheetos, 1.3 million.
The advertising campaign, called “The Surprise Inside Project,” will allow 200 Facebook users to make personal requests for surprises for their friends and family starting tomorrow. The prizes, of course, need to fit inside a Cracker Jack box, and cost less than $20, according to the official rules. The kickoff event, to be held in New York City’s Herald Square, will feature a 15-foot Cracker Jack box.
“This brand has kind of been dark for a while,” Ram Krishnan, senior vice president of marketing at Frito-Lay parent PepsiCo., said to the Times.
“In the past, the way we would have relaunched a brand like Cracker Jack is with a big advertising campaign. But when we talked to who our consumer is, that didn’t make a lot of sense, because we really wanted to engage in a two-way conversation with them -- and hence a social media campaign anchored around Facebook.”
The snack, a mix of candy-coated popcorn and peanuts has long been known for having prizes inside. Some of the original prizes were baseball cards, but more recently they’ve been paper slips with jokes and riddles.