Pop-Tarts makeover takes pretzels from drab to fab in brand’s Super Bowl debut

Aided by Jonathan Van Ness, the brand brightens up a woman’s bleak snack time

Published On
Jan 29, 2020

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Pop-Tarts paints a bleak picture of traditional pretzels to promote its new pretzel pastries in its Super Bowl debut.

The 30-second spot kicks off with a woman struggling with a traditional pretzel in a retro infomercial spoof with a drab display, complete with faceless assistants. “Queer Eye” star Jonathan Van Ness appears and does a snack makeover quicker than any hair overhaul he’s handled on the Netflix show.

“Pop-Tarts fixed that for you,” says Van Ness. Soon, everything from the woman’s snack to her gray sweatsuit gets a snap makeover.

“From ho-hum to so yum,” Van Ness says in the spot, which comes from MRY. 

“Infomercials are a tried-and-true format for launching new product innovations, so we wanted to create a self-aware infomercial that lived up to that ingenuity," James Wood, head of creative at MRY, said in a statement. "Our priority was to work with a genuine, outspoken fan of Pop-Tarts, and Jonathan has more than proven his fan cred.”

A teaser featuring Van Ness was released earlier this month. In the Super Bowl spot Van Ness's outfit transforms to include a sequined Pop-Tarts crop top. After the ad airs during the game, people who follow the brand on Twitter can win a similar shirt, fanny packs and scrunchies. Oh, and boxes of the new Pop-Tarts.

The spot provides Pop-Tarts with an opportunity to promote the brand as a snack on advertising’s biggest stage. It is set to run during the second quarter, more specifically, after the first half's two-minute warning. There is a less-than-subtle wink to the idea that this is a Super Bowl spot, as a supposed football player appears and the words “celeb cameo” pop up on the screen. 

Kellogg Co. has been pushing Pop-Tarts as more of a snack in recent years. Pop-Tarts Pretzel is the latest iteration of the product and follows Pop-Tarts Bites. Still, Kellogg is a cereal maker at heart. Along with Pop-Tarts cereal, it also makes Froot Loops-flavored Pop-Tarts.


Jan 29, 2020
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