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Flexibility pays off for Lay's

News, 30 April 2015
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CHICAGO: Lay's, the snack brand, has shown the power which can result from reimagining successful campaigns while remaining true to the original insights with its evolving "Do Us a Flavor" program.

Bart LaCount, marketing director for Lay's, discussed this topic at the Brand Activation Association's (BAA) 2015 Brand Activation Annual Showcase (BAASH).

And he reported that the brand, which is owned by Frito-Lay, has consistently adapted its popular "Do Us a Flavor" effort since it was first launched in America.

"We've been running this program for three years now in the US," LaCount said. (For more, including tips for engaging millennials, read Warc's exclusive report: Lay's reimagines marketing the chip.)

"And we're continuing to evolve it. The world we're operating in is rapidly changing –from a consumer standpoint, from a media standpoint – [but we are also] staying true to insights that it was grounded in."

The fundamental basis of this effort rests on a simple, and universal, premise: "Everyone has an idea for a flavor of Lay's."

But as millennials represent the primary target audience, the brand is aware of the need for consistent reinvention to keep pace with their developing preferences and behaviors.

"They're a tough group to connect with," LaCount said. "If we look more broadly with millennials, they are tuning out brands. They are tuning out advertising."

For every "Do Us a Flavor" campaign, Lay's has thus tweaked its formula of asking shoppers to propose new variants of its product and then vote for their favourite with their wallet.

Its innovations have included partnerships with Twitter and YouTube so submissions can be made through these sites, and a tie-up with Uber to deliver free picnics – featuring last year's final two "Do Us a Flavor" ideas – to hungry consumers in New York City.

The campaign's latest instalment has seen Lay's tap into the desire for local produce by requesting ideas inspired by "flavorful towns and cities" across the US – like Apple Valley, Minnesota, and Sandwich, Massachusetts.

Said LaCount: "The US has such a great diversity of flavors. If you think about our millennial target, they love to discover those flavors as they travel around the country."

Data sourced from Warc

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