Lay’s ‘Do Us a Flavour’ contest is back after blockbuster debut

Lay’s has launched its 2014 edition of “Do Us Flavour,” a contest that invites Canadians to submit their ideas for a new chip flavour. The winner will receive $50,000 plus 1% of sales of their winning creation. Though last year’s winning chip—Maple Moose—was discontinued due to low sales, the contest was a social media hit, […]

Lay’s has launched its 2014 edition of “Do Us Flavour,” a contest that invites Canadians to submit their ideas for a new chip flavour. The winner will receive $50,000 plus 1% of sales of their winning creation.

Though last year’s winning chip—Maple Moose—was discontinued due to low sales, the contest was a social media hit, receiving more than 600,000 entries from across the country and 140,000 votes. Finalists are selected by a judging panel and the winner is decided by a public vote via Facebook and Twitter.

The contest first launched in 2008 in the U.K. (where the brand is known as Walkers) and has since run in 15 countries. To date, more than 12 million flavour submissions have been received – a huge success in what has become a somewhat cluttered social media contest environment.

“I think [the success] comes down to one simple thing. If you look at any powerful campaign, it always starts with a powerful consumer insight,” said Susan Irving, director of marketing at PepsiCo Foods Canada, which owns Lay’s. “The reason why this program works globally is it does have a consumer insight and it’s the fact that everyone – and it doesn’t matter where you live – has an idea of what would be a great-tasting potato chip.”

This year’s contest has a new twist: Canadians can choose from three potato chip styles for their flavour ideas: Lay’s Original, Lay’s Kettle Cooked, Lay’s Wavy – or all three.

Canadians can also “join the flavour conversation” on Lay’s new Twitter destination (@LaysCanada). The brand has also added new social media elements this year, allowing consumers to share their flavour submissions on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram.

Lay’s has partnered with two spokespeople to promote the contest. James Cunningham, host of Food Network’s Eat Street is the spokesperson in English Canada. In Quebec, chef and TV personality Antoine Sicotte is back for a second year. They will be doing interviews in the media, with the goal of encouraging people to enter the contest.

“PR has become so relevant as social media has picked up,” said Irving. “One of the reasons why we have James and Antoine is so consumers can relate to them, versus a brand spokesperson, to get the word out there and inspire Canadians to enter the contest, as well as share their great ideas of what would be great on a Lay’s potato chip.”

The contest is being promoted with a national TV spot airing during the Oscars on March 2, digital advertising, in-store marketing and promotional packaging.

Five agency partners are supporting the campaign: Praxis for public relations, BBDO Toronto for creative, Proximity for digital, OMD for media buying and Mark IV for in-store marketing.

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