Lay’s begins flavour creation contest

February 05, 2013  |  Kristin Laird

Lay’s is asking Canadians for a flavour.

The Pepsico-owned potato chip brand has launched the Canadian version of a global campaign that invites consumers to submit their flavour idea online.

The “Do Us A Flavour” campaign and contest launched in the U.K. (where the brand is known as Walkers) in 2008 and has since run in over 15 countries.

In Canada, the effort kicked off Sunday during the Super Bowl halftime show with a 30-second spot starring Canadian actor and comedian, Martin Short.

Susan Irving, director of marketing at PepsiCo Foods Canada, told Marketing it was time to launch “Do Us A Flavour” as an evolution to the brand’s farmer-focused campaign that played up homegrown product quality.

“In Canada, flavour variety is really important and Canadians love flavoured potato chips just like ketchup and dill, which were created in Canada,” she said.

“It was the perfect evolution in terms of what Canadians are looking for and to inspire them to be creative to help us invent the next flavour for Canada.”

Crowd-sourcing isn’t a new marketing tactic for Pepsico, which had a run of success with both the Guru and Viralocity chip-naming contests for its Doritos brand.

“The Doritos campaign is really about engaging consumers in different ways,” said Irving, who also works on Doritos. “Lay’s is more about taste and flavour variety.”

Created by BBDO Toronto, the spot starts with Short in a grocery aisle introducing the contest. Throughout the ad he appears as different characters pitching different flavour ideas. BBDO Nolin handled the French adapt.

The commercial is part of phase one, driving Canadians to enter the contest. Mobile ads, radio commercials and point-of-sale materials will roll out over the next couple of weeks. The brand is also hosting events in Vancouver and Toronto later this month.

Canadians have until April 15 to share the name of their flavour, up to three ingredients and the inspiration behind it (maximum 140 characters). Lay’s execs and Short will select four finalists and announce the names towards the end of July, which will be available for Canadians to try.

Facebook votes will determine the winner, who receives $50,000 and 1% of future sales. The winning flavour will be announced in November. Irving said the product would remain on store shelves as long as it continues to sell.

Public and media relations is handled by Fleishman-Hillard, OMD Canada oversees media duties, Proximity manages the digital portion of the campaign, SDI Marketing is responsible for events, while MarkIV develops POS materials.

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