Frito-Lay: Adding Flavor to Social Media Marketing

This past July, Frito-Lay launched a campaign that put their future product in the hands of their consumers.

The “Lay’s Do Us a Flavor” campaign gave consumers the option to create the next great Lays chip flavor and take home $1 million or 1% of the 2013 net sales of the winning product. From July to October 2012, 3.8 million people across 14 countries submitted their flavor creations through a Facebook app.Lays

Thus far, this campaign has generated 955 million organic Facebook impressions and 1.26 billion Public Relations impressions alongside a 12% sales increase. Yet,  this is only the beginning. Another phase of the campaign is active and will remain so until a winner is chosen on May 4th.

As a whole, Frito-lay is active on Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook. This snack company maintains a high level of engagement on their Facebook page with 2,363,024 likes and an active community of visitors. While they only post once daily, their page is filled with graphics and polls that contribute to a range of 40-1,000 likes and comments per post. What is even more essential to the brand health is that the content posted is being shared by the fans at rates of up to 300 times per post, driving others from their feeds to the Frito-Lay page.

More specifically looking at the “Lay’s Do Us A Flavor” campaign, it was designed with the consumer in mind. With the Facebook app, consumers were able to submit flavors they themselves would want to consume. This trend of consumer-created products has gained more recent popularity.

According to Anindita Mukherjee, CMO of Frito-Lay America, “Today consumers want to have their voices heard. They want to have their hand in where a brand goes, what a flavor is for a brand, what direction it goes, they want to have a say.”

Facebook was the perfect outlet to allow members to enter and interact with other submitters.  Features such as a changing the “Like” button to “I’d Eat That” on the Facebook app encouraged voter participating and competition known as “flavor showdowns.” Celebrities like Eva Longoria and Michael Symon encourages voters online as well.

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By October, the three finalists were picked (Chicken & Waffles, Cheesy Garlic Bread, or Sriracha) and a new phase of the campaign called “Save Your Favorite” was launched. The Facebook app has since been converted to hub to vote on one of the three remaining flavors, endorse your flavor of choice to others, and even create “propaganda” to get your flavor to win.

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The competition and easily sharable content has driven the “Lay’s Do Us a Flavor”  campaign to be “one of the most widely used brand apps in Facebook history” according to Mark D’arcy, the Director of Global Creative Solutions of Facebook.

What made it so successful?

Giving the fans the opportunity to vote on the new product  flavor in a fun and competitive setting encouraged audience participation and sparked high engagement rates. Crowd-sourcing for this new product flavor allowed the consumer to feel valuable and necessary to the Frito-Lay brand. Both of these outcomes resulted in a developed online Frito-Lay community. Online communities are powerful in the sense of creating a communal and longtime loyalty to the brand.

While the Frito-Lay has [thus far] been successful, it will be interesting to see how they maintain their newly acquired group of followers. My hope is that they continue to find ways to engage their community long after the winner has been announced. This will be one of the ultimate ways to measure Frito-Lay’s success for their campaign.

Until then, pick up a bag of Chicken & Waffles, Cheesy Garlic Bread, and Sriracha chips and Vote on your favorite until May 4, 2013.

Snack on, my friends.

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2 thoughts on “Frito-Lay: Adding Flavor to Social Media Marketing

  1. It’s amazing that the campaign showed such instant results, this is what most corporations pray will happen with their social media efforts. I would agree that crowdsourcing is what made this campaign so successful. Anything that successfully involves the consumer with the brand is always a good sign for the effectiveness of a company’s social media.

  2. I wonder who won??? While I don’t particularly find any of those three flavors as appealing (in fact I don’t even understand the chicken and waffles flavor), I think the campaign is a great idea to engage fans. With such a big brand like Frito-Lay that is already well-established on social media (over 2.4 million followers), it would be easy to sit back and think that the mission was accomplished. I commend the company for not resting on their laurels and instead deciding to do something that would be a game-changer. I remember that Mountain Dew did a similar promotion a few years ago with some soda flavors, and it was ingenious. Glad that Frito-Lay was able to capitalize. Great job.


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