Welcome to The Week in Consumer Packaged Goods, a weekly round-up for marketers from Quad Insights that covers the latest must-know news surrounding the CPG space.

MoonPie targets aliens with new campaign

MoonPie just became the first brand to market to extraterrestrials with its newly launched global outdoor campaign targeting the, uh, demographic. The snack brand shared details of the effort in a documentary-style video titled “MoonPie Alien Acquisition,” released on its YouTube channel this week. In line with MoonPie’s “out of this world” platform, the campaign, Ad Age’s Tim Nudd notes, is inspired by congressional hearings held last summer “at which several experts testified under oath that aliens do, in fact, exist — and may already be here on Earth.”

Working with UAP (unidentified anomalous phenomena) experts, MoonPie developed a series of out-of-home ads written in the human-created “alien” language Lincos. The UAP experts, as seen in the launch video, advised the brand on the potential best places and ways to reach aliens, which resulted in placements on and around water, near bright or flashing lights, and through tones or music. This resulted in MoonPie digital billboards as well as truck and airplane banners in places such as Times Square; Washington, D.C.; Cape Canaveral, Florida; Roswell, New Mexico; London; and Tokyo.

The 100-year-old brand also launched a website Tuesday targeting alien consumers and, according to USA Today’s Eric Lagatta, is seeking “alienfluencers” — an opportunity open to anyone who “can prove they’re from another planet.”

Coca-Cola enlists Hollywood talent to create shorts for its “The World Needs More Santas” campaign

Coca-Cola has tapped Hollywood talent for a pair of Christmas-themed short films titled “The Santa Stories” to help spread more “Real Magic” this holiday season, per a company announcement. Directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, “The Note” stars Colm Meaney as a “scrooge-like protagonist whose festive goodwill is restored by a mystery message in a bottle,” per the statement. A holiday thriller that ends with Santa in jail, “Ho Ho Heist” was directed by Steven Caple Jr. and stars Octavia Spencer and Scooter McNairy. Both episodes are available on Prime Video (via Prime Video Direct), Amazon Freevee and Coca-Cola’s YouTube channel.

Designed to “showcase the power of embracing the ‘inner Santa’ in all of us,” per the brand’s announcement, the videos are part of a broader campaign that also includes a TV commercial, an online quiz to help “find your inner Santa” and an AI holiday card generator. As Deadline’s Valerie Complex writes, “‘The Santa Stories’ forms part of the brand’s wider Christmas marketing campaign ‘The World Needs More Santas,’ illustrating how magic multiplies when people embrace their ‘inner Santa’ — the spirit of kindness, generosity and goodwill.”

Doritos enters spirits aisle with Doritos-flavored liquor

This week, Doritos announced it’s moved beyond the chip aisle via a new collaboration with spirits company Empirical to create Empirical x Doritos Nacho Cheese Spirit. The limited-edition 42% ABV, 84-proof liquor “smells and tastes like the real thing,” Food & Wine’s Brad Japhe reports.

The flavor was created using Empirical’s production process, which extracted “the many flavor layers of Doritos Nacho Cheese” using vacuum distillation, which “operates at lower temperatures, preserving the full spectrum of flavors derived from Doritos,” according to a company statement. “Ultimately, you can think of the product as a nacho cheese-flavored vodka,” Japhe writes.

The collaboration aligns with the Frito-Lay brand’s focus on “disrupting culture” and bringing fans “unexpected, bold experiences,” Senior Vice President of Marketing for Frito-Lay North America Tina Mahal said in a statement.

Set to retail for $65, Empirical x Doritos Nacho Cheese Spirit will be available in-store (in select New York and California markets) and online beginning in January, with pre-orders currently being taken online.

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Further reading

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If you’d like to catch up on prior installments of this column, start by heading to our last recap: “The Week in Consumer Packaged Goods: December 8, 2023 edition”

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