Instead of panicking about turning 30—the big three-oh—Hot Pockets decided to go under the knife, resurfacing with a brand-new identity, including new ingredients, packaging, and advertising. Oh, and a viral video featuring the artist formerly known as Snoop Dogg.
A parody music video featuring the rapper as well as comedian Andy Milonakis, rapper DeStorm, and wrestler Brodus Clay, "Pocket Like It's Hot" was produced by Funny or Die and features such catchy lyrics as: "I got the pockets in my arms setting off smoke alarms, and I eat them smoking hot cause I got it going on." (Another gem? Snoop spinning the microwave turntable.)
The rebranding effort also includes changes inside the stuffed pastries. Akin to the psuedo-artisan trend seen in the food industry, Hot Pockets now features ingredients (and language) such as "premium cuts of meat," "seasoned crusts," and "real cheese." (The cheese has always been real, according to the brand director, but the emphasis on its authenticity is there to counter the misperception that the ingredient was artificial.)
Will the millennials who grew up with the microwavable snack bite? According to a blind taste test, Hot Pockets said three of five consumers preferred the new product.
Will Hot Pockets be on next year's list of Most Innovative Companies?