Nov 20, 2012

A Baker's Dozen of Hostess Vintage Ads

The last Hostess cakes are being plundered and stockpiled off the shelves. The iconic American wholesale bakers have baked their last batch of cakes and breads. Their products included Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Sno-balls, Drakes Cakes, Choco-Diles, Nature's Pride, Dolly Madison, Butternut Breads and Wonder Bread.

Time to look back at some of the brand's advertising over its 90-plus year history.

The company first opened its business and gained a national audience from its base of operations in Kansas City, Missouri in 1919. Here's a few examples of Hostess Cakes print ads from the late 1920's.

Hostess Cakes, "Devil's Food Bar", 1929.

Hostess Cakes, "Devil's Food Loaf", 1930.

Hostess Cakes, "Zesty Lemon Loaf", 1929.

Hostess, "Creamed Filled Cup Cakes", 1956.
By the 1950's, Hostess had established its line of Cup Cakes as well as their popular Twinkies and Sno-balls.

Hostess Sno-Balls, "Glamour Gal", 1950's.
Some attempts to dress up their Sno-balls as sexy and "well-stacked" typified the sexism of the time. This ad is targeting retail stores in a business-to-business communication.

Hostess, "Ding Dongs", 1967.
1967 - the introduction of Hostess Ding Dongs.

Wonder Bread, "Date Bait", 1968.

Wonder Bread, "Boy Trap", late 1960's.
By the late 1960's, Hostess' Wonder Bread brand was also making a pitch to position itself as a way for girls to attract boys.

Hostess Mascots (from Left to Right)
Capatain Cupcake, Twinkie the Kid, Happy Ho-Ho, Fruit Pie the Magician
Not pictured: Chauncey Choco-dile
The 1970's saw the brand establish mascots for each of its popular lines.

Happy Ho Ho for Hostess Ho Ho's, "Devil's Food", 1970.

Twinkie the Kid, TV Commercial, 1980's

Twinkie the Kid first appeared in 1971. With a 10-gallon hat, kerchief and cowboy boots, he has saved the day ever since. He had a legendary sweet disposition and legacy as a wrangler of wrongdoing, having lassoed the hearts of millions. When it comes to true legends, Twinkie the Kid takes the cake.

ITT, "Twinkies", 1985.
Hostess went through several company holdership changes before its ultimate demise. For the majority of its life, the holding company was known as Interstate Bakeries. This name was changed to Interstate Brands with more expansions and acquisitions. This was taken over by IT company DPF in the mid-1970's, looking to diversify. By the 1980's, corporate restructuring saw ITT, the technology branch of DPF, separate itself from the Interstate Bakeries division. This ad explains why that split was made.

Hostess Cup Cakes, "90 Years"
Ad Agency: Bernstein-Rein, October, 2009.
The 1990's saw the baking conglomerate continue to expand, but over the last decade, management had run up significant debt and after several bankruptcy filings, the company has finally gone under recently.

Pour a glass of milk for the dessert foods that are no more.