This week was our first time seeing ads on fortune cookie fortunes — and we weren’t alone.
A now-private tweet about the ad above prompted a lot of responses like “Marketers have gone too far this time!” (But with more cursing.)
Here’s the thing: This isn’t new!
A brief history of fortune cookie ads
- 1968: Robert F. Kennedy used fortunes to promote his presidential campaign and foretell his victory. Our favorite? “Millions will love you. Vote KENNEDY.”
- 2010: OpenFortune, a platform dedicated to placing ads in fortune cookies, is founded.
- 2013: A Manhattan City Council candidate promotes his campaign via cookie, collabing with two Chinese restaurants in his district.
- 2018: A photo of a fortune cookie ad from Capital One (and OpenFortune) gets 1.7K RTs. Caption: “Ad blockers ain’t got nothing on the nyc take out market.”
- 2021: Extra and OpenFortune run the first fortune cookie ad we’ve seen with a QR code.
Fortune cookie ads are a marketing rarity: a long-standing channel that still gets social traction for existing. According to OpenFortune, 5.9% of recipients share their fortunes on social.
Those shares can veer negative, though.
“NOTHING IS BEAUTIFUL NOR INNOCENT ANYMORE,” one recipient tweeted about promotional fortune. Caps hers!