The Reason Hostess Commercials Are About To Change Forever

When you're a kid, there's a pretty decent chance you know who Twinkie the Kid is. You know, that giant Twinkie who dressed up as a cowboy and extolled the cream-filled virtues of the Hostess Twinkie? Of course, it's obvious that Twinkie the Kid is a child-friendly mascot whose purpose is to make you run to your folks and ask if they can run to the store and grab a box of Twinkies. In fact, most commercial mascots, from Twinkie the Kid to Tony the Tiger to even Ronald McDonald, are aimed at one specific audience: kids. 

MediaSmarts describes how marketers focus on children as an audience, such as through "buzz" marketing (or having someone doing something to make their product "buzzworthy") or ensuring kids stay loyal to a certain brand through logos, slogans, and, of course, mascots. There are online groups such as Common Sense Media that do their best to inform parents about how advertisers can target young children, but at the end of the day, children are just another market for companies to appeal to. It's no different than makeup most often being marketed toward women and pickup trucks most often marketed toward men.

However, in a new, surprising move, Hostess has announced that it will no longer be focused on advertising toward children.

Hostess will not advertise to children for nutrition purposes

If you thought that Hostess is no longer focusing on advertising towards kids because it seeks an older audience, you would be sorely mistaken. In fact, the reason the company is moving away from the 13 and under audience is because of health and nutritional pledges.

According to PR Newswire, Hostess joins 19 other leading food and beverage companies in taking a pledge through the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. This means that the company will no longer appeal to children unless the advertising in question follows the "Uniform Nutrition Criteria" of the Advertising Initiative. This means that the company, should they advertise to young children, must follow guidelines that show the product as a nutritional and healthy item for children.

Chief growth officer of Hostess Brands Dan O'Leary claims that this is "an important milestone" in the company's "transformation journey." O'Leary also noted that Hostess is committed to being a "socially responsible snacking powerhouse."

Other members of the CFBAI include Burger King, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, and PepsiCo (via Food Business News). It's currently unknown how these businesses will go about their advertising after this change.