Hot Pockets is tapping into its fans' interest in areas such as gaming, music and sports with a twist on everyday life as a roommate.
A new campaign launched this month after the Nestle brand researched what drives its core customer, 18- to 34-year-old men.
"We found that our consumers that really love the brand are all hungering for more out of life," said Mohini Joshi, director of marketing, Hot Pockets. One thing that kept popping up in conversations with those millennial guys is that they get interrupted by their hunger, she said. Ms. Joshi and her team felt the brand could take that role and refuel them.
Now comes a new campaign starring four guys who resemble people who could be some of the brand's fans. They portray the roommates in a wacky Hot Pockets House complete with stunts one shouldn't try in his own home and six red microwaves ready to heat up Hot Pockets.
The push includes digital elements such as shareable videos, a specialized Popkey GIF keyboard and posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Soon, six personalities on Vine are set to share videos showing how Hot Pockets keep them going. TV commercials play on the same idea and launched Monday.
The usual "do not attempt" text that accompanies stunts in commercials goes a step further. It reads: "Do not attempt. In the unlikely event that you actually built a giant skydiving chamber in your living room."
Fans are being asked to share videos of their talents via social media using the hashtag #honoraryroommate, and may get Hot Pockets swag as rewards. The campaign is set to run through the middle of May and is likely to be followed by marketing about upcoming new products. Hot Pockets introduced snack bites and breakfast bites varieties last year. Last fall, it launched a promotional effort tied to the Halo game to tap into its gamer audience.
Spending on the campaign is in line with past Hot Pockets efforts, Ms. Joshi said. There is more emphasis on digital than in the past, with digital slightly exceeding TV as the brand has seen "a really strong return" on digital in the past, she said.
The idea of a Hot Pockets house was clearly cooked up months ago. In real life, it seems a hankering helped an Ohio fan last year when he was out of his house getting some Hot Pockets, according to a local news report.