The Time Cheez-Its Hid A Massive Supply In A Secret Bunker

Cheez-It, arguably the most famous bright orange cracker on grocery store shelves, turned 100 years old in 2021, according to Smithsonian Magazine. Despite being a century old, the famed snack remains relevant today. That might have something to do with the savory treat's marketing department.

The company started from pretty humble beginnings. Cheez-It was just one of several snack crackers developed by The Green and Green Company of Dayton, Ohio. Per, the cracker purveyor sold Dayton Crackers, Edgemont Crackers, and Flag Crackers before landing on the winning formula for Cheez-It crackers. They began selling the snack in March 1921 and filed a patent two months later.

Since its inception, different companies have acquired Cheez-Its. Now, the beloved cracker is part of Kellogg's product line. Over the years, the marketing team behind Cheez-It has developed some truly innovative ad campaigns. TV ads have garnered plenty of attention, but these days the magic of Cheez-It's marketing team centers around adding some adventure to the snacking experience. In 2019, Cheez-It introduced wine pairings for its crackers, and sports fans have rooted for their favorite Cheez-It Bowl team in Orlando, Florida since 2020. Still, one of its most famous marketing ploys involved a scavenger hunt.

Cheez-It launched a citywide scavenger hunt in 2019

In May 2019, Cheez-It launched its most interactive marketing campaign in history. The cracker brand took to Twitter to announce they had hidden a year's supply of Cheez-It crackers in a mysterious location in New York City. According to Food & Wine, the cracker manufacturer tweeted out clues to the public, commencing a full-blown, citywide scavenger hunt. Fans played, but only one won.

The hunt didn't take particularly long. On May 7, 2019, the company announced on social media that it had hidden crackers in a secret location. The city where the bunker was located was revealed a week later. On May 15 and 16, the company tweeted two more clues, a "magic eye puzzle" and a painting of a face eating Cheez-It crackers after busting through a brick wall. On May 21, 2019, the hunt was over, and someone had found the secret bunker. All told, the winner only needed those three clues to find the secret bunker.

The winner, unnamed in the official Twitter announcement, walked away with a year's supply of Cheez-It crackers, but that's not all. Per a press release, the lucky sleuth also got to keep much of the bunker's contents, including "a yearlong streaming service subscription, a giant flat-screen television, and more" hidden inside the secret locale. Cheez-It has yet to launch another scavenger hunt, but it certainly was one of its most memorable campaigns.