During last year’s Super Bowl, snack brand MoonPie may not have been an official part of the Big Game broadcast, but it was certainly participating in spirit. The Tennessee-based company’s Twitter feed spent that night posting completely bonkers scripts for Super Bowl ads it would have made if it had a few million dollars to burn.
The highly surreal scripts sparked thousands of engagements and left some wondering how the brand might follow it up this year. Well, tonight things got real. Really real.
Moon Pie and agency Tombras Group decided to make good on the 2018 gag by actually filming three of them as real ads—though admittedly they are only running online, with no actual media spend on TV.
“Last year, we basically tweeted out these bizarre scripts, poking fun at bad big-budget advertising, and it got a lot of play and sort of blew up with the community,” says Dooley Tombras, president of Tombras Group. “We never set out to shoot those spots, but there was such a big, overwhelming response.”
Soon after the 2018 Super Bowl, Tombras Group and MoonPie began making plans to record some of the spots. They settled on three scripts to film: “Study Sesh”, “Space” and “Family”.
Here’s a look back at how the brand set up the campaign last year:
This Saturday, the brand tweeted an update, saying it had gotten approval to make the ads as long as they didn’t run on TV:
Over the course of the night, the videos began to roll out on Twitter. Below, you’ll find the originally tweeted scripts, followed by the final videos:
Tombras says the success of the original scripts on Twitter, followed by actually producing the ludicrous ads, highlights how 100-year-old MoonPie has carved out a niche as a social brand that can get national reach without the kind of TV spending usually required for largely regional CPG brands.
“What other brand could even pull this off organically? I think the answer is nobody,” Dooley says. “In a way, it’s sort of rewriting the rules of CPG advertising.”
Moon Pie’s success on Twitter, where it’s generally recognized as one of the top brands in terms of social engagement, has generated results for the brand beyond just store shelves. Thanks to its digital celebrity status, Dooley says, “MoonPie has seen a significant increase in business through its own ecommerce platform and through Amazon.”
In terms of consumer response, MoonPie’s video tweets seem to get a strong response, likely helped along by the fact that the legitimate Super Bowl ad pool this year was pretty underwhelming and (Burger King aside) lacking in experimentation.