Why You May See A University Ad In Your Next Fortune Cookie

Occasionally, a fortune cookie might contain a very unexpected message. Some diners have found surprisingly and downright cheeky fortune cookie messages reading, "About time I got out of that cookie," and "If you eat something and no one sees you eat it, it has no calories," (via Bored Panda). Now fortune cookie makers plan to take their cookie fillings to the next level with advertisements. According to the Phoenix Business Journal, fortune cookie distributor OpenFortune has partnered with Northern Arizona University to advertise programs at the university's campus in Flagstaff.

The Takeout reports that the New York-based OpenFortune supplies over 21,000 restaurants with its fortune cookies. Now, if you dine on the company's treats in Arizona, you have a good chance of encountering an ad for NAU. While it may sound strange, diners have found advertisements in their fortune cookies before. One Redditor discovered an ad for Dentyne Ice in their cookie, while Zelle and Capital One have notably advertised via the snack, per Vice. This time around, you might end up initially getting tricked by the university ads in fortune cookies that have a very unique message.

A new era for fortune cookies

Anyone who cracks open an ad-filled cookie might first believe they have a real fortune in their hands. According to The Takeout, the Arizona university ads feature text reading, "your opportunities are endless" and "you are in control of your destiny." The back of these messages features a QR code that, when scanned, sends you to NAU's website. A press release from OpenFortune reports that this deal won't end anytime soon, either. OpenFortune and NAU have established a multi-year deal to run the ad, so if you find yourself dining out quite a lot in Arizona, you can expect to eventually encounter one of these fortune cookie messages at your local Chinese restaurant.

NAU officials selected fortune cookies as a way to advertise thanks to their uplifting nature. "Fortune cookies embody optimism, and we couldn't be more excited to further this already successful partnership and continue bringing prospective students small notes of inspiration to start or continue their education," Harlan Teller, NAU's Chief Marketing Officer stated in the official press release. 

What's more, they claim that the cookie ad campaign has already started to work. Teller reported that a pilot campaign helped drive new applications and increased prospective student engagement. Only time can tell if the campaign works out, but in the meantime, expect more ads in your Arizona fortune cookies.