Hefty Enlisted Moms to Sell Red Drinking Cups

Yes,  you read that title right. Hefty casted “cool moms who party hard” to sell their red Ultimate cups in under 50 seconds.

These moms utilize the most cringeworthy slang that teens are notorious of using today including, but not limited to, “on fleek” and “#blessed”.

Watch here:

This campaign is arguably one of the most successful campaigns a household-goods company could produce. I mean, how riveting can a commercial about napkins and disposable silverware be?

Here’s three reasons why this campaign worked:

  1. The juxtaposition of the stereotypical suburban mother using meme slang.
  2. The moms are actually telling a story plot that adds to the branding of Hefty Ultimate cups being the go-to brand.
  3. It resonates with both moms who are most likely doing the grocery shopping and the young adults who party.

We’re constantly bombarded with ads that are exited out of after 5 seconds. At this point, nothing is more overdone than showing a party scene, fast car speeding on the highway, or coffee shop encounter, within the first 5 seconds of the ad. All of these familiar scenarios have become mundane. Even a mom talking in her kitchen has become a repeated setting. However, a mom in a pastel cardigan opening with, “We got turnt last night”, completely changes the dynamic and expectations of an ad.

Hefty was also smart to not cast teens for these scripts. It would inefficiently poke fun at teens without doing anything really different, and turn young adults off because we’d all like to think that we don’t sound that absurd when we say “too many thirsty girls were all up on Jamie’s bae”.

Secondly, while the ad is mostly cramming in as much slang as possible, the story plot by the mom actually makes sense. She talks about taking over the playlist, ice luges, and dancing on the kitchen table. When listening about the mom’s “night”, the young adult audience envisions every scene depicted and relates them to similar nights they’ve had. What makes it not so cliche is that the speaker isn’t the classic college student.

This is where Hefty has separated themselves from the Red Solo Cup brand, which is championed through the self-titled country song by Toby Keith and college culture. Had Hefty tried to brand itself also as the go-to college cup, it would look like a sad copycat of Solo.

Red Solo Cups are also known for being cheap and cracking. The subtle branding #partyhardmoms also attests to its product which guarantees to be crack-resistant. The ad humorously relates to the idea of how Hefty Ultimate cups can withstand the test of these moms’ wild party habits.

Lastly, this ad resonates with suburban moms who hear their kids use this laughable language all the time. The classic joke in ads these days is that parents are outdated on what their kids are saying due to memes, slang, and texting language. Hefty turned this trope around and associated “hip” parents with their brand.

This ad also resonates with young adults who realize how ridiculous our colloquialisms are, without attacking or degrading it. Many of the YouTube comments laughed along and said, “Oh my god…this is me as a mom” and “Wow this is literally the future generation of mothers in 20 years”.

The best part of this campaign is that it reaches multiple generations and doesn’t force a generic universal message that any generation can relate to  — it bridges the gap.


  1. Anjela, thank you for this great post. It is the first time I see the Hefty Cups ads and to say the truth I really liked them. I found myself you tubing through the rest for over 15 minutes. I laughs so much. I mean who would have imagined a mom saying “We got turnt lat night”? And who would have imagined that this ad would turn out to be for cups rather then something else? As you mentioned, it was a very smart move because most ads have become so mundane and repetitive. You need one unique company to break the clutter and offer something differently. Because of the catchy phrases and hashtags, people were able to resonate with the mom in the video. Thanks to social media, the spreading of the campaign was fastened and made easier too. When watching and reading through your post I was trying to think of other companies who have started using a similar ad strategy. Great content and thanks for introducing Hefty Cups and their humorous campaign and ads to us.

  2. Thanks for the Monday morning laugh! I got to say, though, I’m a little disappointed to see that Hefty has not really run with this campaign on social media. I looked at their twitter page @Hefty and they only tweeted once with the hashtag #PartyHardMoms. This is gold, Hefty. Gold!

    I see people using the Hashtag but no sign of Hefty engaging with these people on Twitter. The best tweet, though https://twitter.com/Hefty/status/661282138311024640.

  3. Hilarious! I think it’s so smart of Hefty to target this often-overlooked market segment. College kids and young adults are going to buy their product no matter what, but reaching out to moms who are also likely to host parties is pretty genius. I agree with @ericinclass that they should have done a better job of leveraging social for this campaign. Both the video and the hashtag would have gathered steam with multiple generations. It’s a step forward for the brand nonetheless, thanks for the laugh!

  4. Haha, I had no idea this was a thing – it’s certainly entertaining. I think this enables them to target both the decision maker and the purchaser, which is unique and difficult when there are generational gaps between the two (and there priorities are so different).

    I too echo @ericinclass and @abryeans concerning their use of social media, and feel like had they done a better job, they would make it more likely that more of their consumer market would interact with this particular ad campaign [especially since so few millennials actually watch ads on TV). I really like the last thing you wrote, and think you’re 100% right – “The best part of this campaign is that it reaches multiple generations and doesn’t force a generic universal message that any generation can relate to — it bridges the gap.” So true!

  5. this is so great, thanks for sharing! I am surprised many of us had not seen more of these ads on twitter or facebook when they came out – especially since we seem to be one of Hefty’s target market. I wonder how effective #partyhardmoms was on Twitter after these ads were released. You highlighted two YouTube videos on your blog, and one thing I noticed towards the end of each ad Hefty encourages you to watch more of their videos. Apparently @hobballa enjoyed watching more than a few! It seems they are really trying to get their audience to engage on YouTube which is definitely a start. I see Hefty having the opportunity to build on these campaigns leveraging similar humor and positioning but perhaps encouraging more engagement beyond just a Youtube series. @ericinclass post directed me to their Twitter page and Hefty does have a great, unique voice, so now they just need to build more awareness and pull consumers to their Twitter page.

  6. Hefty NAILED it with this campaign. Though Solo cups are universally known as THE red cup, I think this ad will help Hefty close the competition gap. Their use of dead pan humor was the perfect touch to their ads. Furthermore, Hefty made the ad relatable — a strategy that is ideal for a brand since they want to relate to their consumers as much as they can. Overall, I think Hefty has a bright future in the red cup industry with the inception of these ads. My only issue with them, would have to be the choice of song at the end of the ad — it’s a little off putting in juxtaposition with the rest of the ad.

  7. This is hysterical… But I have to wonder- Will their campaign pay off? Like others have said, they should be tweeting the video and following up with those who tweet at them. This hashtag is something that could definitely go viral as almost everyone has stories of his/her mom desperately trying to be “hip.”
    Based on their product, it makes sense that they do not have the best social media strategy, because I’m not sure that social media is the most effective way to sell these products. In general, customers buying red party cups are typically college students on a budget or moms rushing around to get everything they think they are going to need for a party. Because of this, the decision is usually made in the store and based on price or the location of the item on the shelf. It will be interesting to see if Hefty actually notices a difference in their sales after these videos!

  8. So normally when parents try to be cool, we just cringe and run away and pretend like we don’t know them, but the interesting thing here is that you’re not really cringing while watching these videos. It’s almost as if these moms actually are cool and fun to hang out with. I definitely agree with what you said about the message being relatable to multiple generations, because I think many parents do try to be cool and want to seem like they know what’s going on in our world. However, echoing @minhytran, the music at the end was really obnoxious and made it seem like they were trying to hard. Overall, this is an interesting campaign. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Ha ha…Thanks for sharing.

    I looked at both advertisements a couple of times and found myself questioning who is Hefty’s audience for these Ads. You mentioned that one of the comments for the Ads was “Wow this is literally the future generation of mothers in 20 years”. I would have to agree with the above comment. I think the Ads aren’t pitched to current moms but future mothers. More specifically, the Ads are courting Millennials and Generation Z (also iGen or Post-Millennials). The Ads are saying that it is cool to be a mother and have fun. Of course having fun translates to using Hefty cups. Pretty much Hefty is equating the coolness of moms with the coolness of their cup. @ericinclass mentioned that Hefty isn’t engaging people who use the #PartyHardMoms. I don’t think they would do so. To me the goal of the advertising campaign is to set the seeds for future buyers/moms. These are Ads for Millennials and iGen and of course many would consider engaging either of them now to be inappropriate. Again, thanks for sharing.

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