UPDATE: Dec. 6, 2023: Pop-Tarts announced it is building on its plans for the Pop-Tarts Bowl with an interactive experience called “Prop-Tarts” — a pun on sports-betting term “prop bet” — challenging consumers to guess certain outcomes of the game, like what will be dumped on the winning coach’s head or who will take the first bite of the brand’s edible mascot, for the chance to win free Pop-Tarts. Consumers starting Dec. 6 can visit a microsite to lock-in their game-day predictions and have the chance to win free Pop-Tarts, with 1 million of the toaster pastries up for grabs. Predictions will be accepted until 5 p.m. ET Dec. 28, 45 minutes before kickoff, and real-time results will be live on Prop-Tarts.com.
- Pop-Tarts will unveil an edible mascot in celebration of the first-ever Pop-Tarts Bowl, the brand said in a press release. Slated for Dec. 28, the post-season college football game will be held at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.
- Dubbed the first of its kind, the Pop-Tarts Bowl Mascot will interact with the crowd during the game, but by the time the final whistle blows, the toaster pastry character will “transform” into a snack for the victorious team to feast on.
- The concept is one of several planned moves to build hype for the bowl game as the marketer seeks to connect with the college football audience. Additionally, the move ties into the brand’s new creative direction unveiled in July.
Pop-Tarts is attempting to build excitement for its inaugural bowl game by promising the victorious collegiate football team a bite of the first-ever edible mascot. The playful move is a manifestation of the brand’s new creative direction that hones a focus on its “Agents of Crazy Good” toaster pastry characters, each of which are vying to be consumers’ next snack. The new direction notably calls back to nostalgic ads from the brand that featured its characters running from hungry people, with the fresh spin being that the pastries now strive to be enticing.
The brand is planning additional marketing plays for the game. While full details haven’t been announced, the efforts will span concessions, Fan Fest and entertainment both on and off the field. Consumers are encouraged to follow Pop-Tarts on Instagram and TikTok to see the mascot, a sign that the brand is attempting to forge a stronger connection with younger audiences.
The Pop-Tarts Bowl, which represents the first time the marketer has sponsored an NCAA college football bowl, is organized by Florida Citrus Sports and will be broadcast live on ESPN. While 2023 marks the first year Pop-Tarts will sponsor the game, this year marks its 34th iteration. Pop-Tarts is part of the brand portfolio of Kellanova, the company that was established when Kellogg Company formally split into two businesses in October. Snack brands like Pringles and Cheez-It also fall under the new Kellanova umbrella.
Other marketers this season have similarly tapped into college football hype to target the sport’s large consumer fan base. Kicking off the season, Anheuser-Busch InBev put Bud Light at the center of a robust marketing playbook that included the expansion of limited-edition team cans and an extensive Backyard Tour live music experience. Meanwhile, Nissan spiced up its long-running “Heisman House'' program, which celebrates Heisman Trophy winners, with a Zillow partnership, influencer marketing and non-fungible tokens.
Beyond college football, football on a professional level also continues to lure marketers, with 2024 Super Bowl broadcaster CBS already having nearly sold out its ad inventory, with 30-second spots going for as much as $7 million. Among those who have purchased an ad spot for next year’s big game include BMW and Molson Coors.