Freeform’s use of fortune cookies to hype its new TV series gets mixed reaction
Freeform has rolled out the latest media promotion for its new comedy series “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” with the help of some not-so-subtle fortune cookie messaging—but not everyone seems happy to find ads in their Chinese take-out treats.
The cookies in question contain a traditional paper fortune peppered with branded language (“You’re never going to finish that book… but everything’s gonna be okay”) on the front, and an ad for the show and its premiere date on the usually blank reverse.
The lukewarm Freeform campaign was born of a partnership with OpenFortune, a New York-based company that distributes millions of custom, ad-laden fortune cookies around the U.S. on behalf of its clients, including Coca-Cola, Capital One and the Illinois State Lottery.
“The goal of this campaign was not only to strike up conversation at the table, but also to incite discussion via social channels,” says Matt Williams, Open Fortune’s “Chief Cookie Officer” who co-founded the company with “Chief Fortune Officer” Shawn Porat.
And incite discussion it has.
Since first rolling out the “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay”-branded treats last month, some consumers who’ve received the slightly antagonistic messages have taken to social media to post reactions of surprise and delight.
Others have been far less amused, directing their anger and bemusement at Freeform and Hulu, which has streaming rights to the show, over their invasion of a formerly ad-free space.