For those of you who care about baseball, happy Opening Day! And for those of you who don't, you'll probably still want to take a look at Hostess' Opening Day “touchdown” tweet. Yes, I just said “touchdown.” Yes, I know that “touchdown” is a football term. But hey, I didn't make the joke; I'm just bringing it to your attention. Come, my friends! Witness the power of social media at its greatest!
Here's the deal: Earlier today, Hostess launched one of the most talked-about tweets of the day — and probably one of the most puzzling tweets in its entire social media history. Ostensibly the tweet was meant to celebrate Opening Day, which, it seems is today (although the Cardinals and the Cubs kicked things off last night) — and I say “seems” because baseball is not a thing I have ever bothered to pay attention to, so in this case, I'm just going off of what the Internet is telling me. Anyway, in honor of the occasion, Hostess not only tweeted about it, but even took the trouble to create a fun little graphic featuring their famous cupcakes all done up like little tiny baseballs. But isn't there something a little… off about it? Just maybe? Here's the tweet — if you think you're ready for it:
Get it? It's baseball season? And the cupcake is a baseball? But the comment is about football? Ba-dum ching!
Anyhoo, perhaps unsurprisingly, this little image kind of confused the Twittersphere. Did Hostess really make that big of a gaffe? Or is it just a joke? Me, I'm positive that it was intentional. First off, even the most sports-illiterate among us (myself included) know that touchdowns belong in football, not baseball. And second off? It's the perfect of something being so stupid that it circles right back round to genius. Sure, it's a dumb joke — but I mean, look at how much people are talking about it. As Alfred Maskeroni over at Ad Week noted, “Showing genuine excitement would have gotten lost pretty quickly, while this stands out. And it makes more sense to be the butt of the joke intentionally, rather than accidentally.” How's that for effective advertising?
And it turns out that it was, in fact, a joke. Said Hostess spokeswoman Ellen Copaken in an email to Business Insider, “Since embarking on the 'Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever' nearly two years ago, Hostess has employed a strategy aimed at contemporizing the brand. The bolder approach has been particularly visible in the brand's social media platforms. The 'Touchdown' line was intentional; it's fun and aimed at young audiences who are in on the running joke — which, of course, is the goalllll.”
Well played on that last line, Ms. Copaken. Bravo.
In spite of this, though, reactions on Twitter continue to be kind of mixed. Granted, there's usually only so much one can glean from a tweet — you only have 140 characters, after all — but here's my read on some of them. A lot of people seem to think that the “mistake” was actually a mistake:
And many wasted no time pointing out that the brand had (seemingly, at least) made an idiotic error:
Others made it clear that they got the joke (because if there's one thing we always want, it's to be able to prove that we're part of the "in" crowd):
While some even decided to roll with it, making terrible jokes of their own:
However, I would argue that these two tweets are the only ones you need to see about this whole thing:
I think my work here is done.
Fun fact: The Twinkie was also apparently invented today, so why not go out and enjoy one? Everyone needs to go recapture their childhood every now and again.