Insomnia Cookies stages a virtual pajama party

A favorite college campus snack, Insomnia Cookies moved its annual retail giveaway to TikTok and Instagram this year.

Late-night cookie delivery company Insomnia Cookies normally celebrates the back-to-college season with a Pajama Party promotion that awards free cookies to customers who come to stores wearing their jammies.     

Things are different this year, of course, due to COVID-19. But instead of cancelling its pajama party promo altogether, Insomnia Cookies took it to college students’ favorite virtual hangout spots: TikTok and Instagram. 

In its first-ever campaign with Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners (RTO+P), Insomnia Cookies shook up the promo to send free “Mouth Pajamas” -- also known as masks -- to the first 50 people who order delivery from each of its stores. 

To kick off the campaign and inaugurate Insomnia’s new TikTok page, Philadelphia-based rapper Leese B debuted an original track on the platform praising Insomnia’s late-night cookies. On Instagram, Insomnia launched a Mouth Pajamas filter so fans can try on and share their favorite mask designs. New social posts for the campaign will run each day this week.

“It’s a way to stay relevant and grow during this crazy time,” said Tom Carusona, CMO of Insomnia Cookies. “How Insomnia grew up was social, people coming back from bars or studying groups at the library. There’s always been a social aspect.”

Since its founding, Insomnia Cookies has focused on the college student market, opening many of its 100 stores within walking distance of campuses. Its trademark service is still serving up oven-warm cookies until 3 a.m. 

Carusona pointed out that the college market is surviving, even through the pandemic, with enough students in dorms and off-campus apartments to keep its employee base strong. “College is still huge for us,” he said. 

Insomnia Cookies was started in a college dorm by founder and CEO Seth Berkowitz who, as an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, began baking and distributing cookies to his fellow students. But Insomnia Cookies’ fame has expanded beyond its college campus roots, and the brand wants to be relevant to consumers of all ages. 

“We don’t want to be a blip on the radar just when you are in college,” said Carusona. “Everyone loves a warm cookie, especially now. In the last few months.”

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