Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

“Do us a FLAVOR.” — This brand has a fun and tasty favor to ask that might just make you a millionaire! [Fridays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

November 6, 2020

How do you react when someone asks you to do a favor?

Are you willing to hear how you could help?

Are you hesitant?

Or… are you just neutral about it?

This brand has a favor to ask YOU. Don’t worry, it’s fun!

What if we told you it involves yummy snacks and money? We bet you’re now curious!

You’ll definitely want to jump in on doing them a favor if you know what’s in store.

Lay’s is a brand of potato chip varieties that was founded by American salesman Herman Lay in 1932 and was acquired by PepsiCo., Inc. in 1965.

Some of the brand’s product lines include:

  • Lay’s Original Potato Chips
  • Lay’s Better For You
  • Lay’s Kettle Cooked
  • Lay’s Poppables
  • Lay’s Stax
  • Lay’s Wavy

As stated on its website, Lay’s product flavors are almost as rich as its history, with a “chip or crisp flavor guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.”

A Favor for a Flavor

As part of its 75th anniversary celebration on July 2012, Lay’s partnered with marketing and promotion agency The Marketing Arm to launch its “Do Us A Flavor” Campaign in the US.

The brand didn’t aim to only raise brand awareness through its campaign. It also wanted to generate buzz, especially among the 18 to 34-year-olds.

The campaign consisted of a social media contest to help Lay’s create a stronger relationship with millennials. Another was a Times Square pop-up store that allowed consumers to taste 22 different potato chip flavors produced by the brand.

The premise of the campaign was to let consumers decide what the “next popular potato chip flavor” is for the company. Flavor submissions were strictly accepted through Lay’s social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and through their website.

Lay’s also created a new app where millennials can pitch their flavor ideas in a span of 3 months. Once they submitted their entries, they would receive an image of a customized Lay’s bag that reflected their suggested flavors.

Participants could also compete with other participants through the app’s daily “Flavor Showdowns.”

According to then Chief Marketing Officer at Lay’s, Ann Mukherjee, the campaign team only projected to receive 1.2 million flavor submissions. What they didn’t expect was to receive 3.8 million flavor submissions in three months!

After the deadline of submissions, a panel of judges―celebrities Eva Longoria, Nick Lachey, Michael Symon, and Lay’s culinary experts―were chosen to narrow down the flavors to three. Once three finalist flavors were chosen, the decision would be in the hands of consumers through online voting.

The winning flavor would be reproduced by Lay’s to be sold in stores across the globe.

What’s more?

The owner of the winning flavor would receive a USD 1 million cash prize from Lay’s!

Effectiveness of the Lay’s “Do Us A Flavor” Campaign

The campaign lasted for 10 months and during that time span, Pennsylvania State University’s case study found that Lay’s Facebook page followers rose to 1.2 million and had an average of over 22.5 million visits PER WEEK.

Lay’s PTAT (People Talking About This), the measurement of the number of people talking about the brand, increased by 4,700.

As for Lay’s year-on-year (YoY) sales, the brand increased its sales by 12%.

The USD 1 million prize and the Best Chip Flavor Award was given to Wisconsin librarian, Karen Weber-Mendham, who submitted the “Cheesy Garlic Bread” flavor.

According to Mendham, her flavor was inspired by her children’s flavor preferences whenever they would dine at an Italian restaurant.

Lay’s and its partner agency The Marketing Arm also received three awards from one of the world’s largest awards programs, PRO Awards, namely:

  • Best Idea or Concept
  • Best Multi Discipline Promotion
  • Best Promotion Generating Brand Awareness

The Lay’s “Do Us A Flavor” Campaign is more than just creating the latest and tastiest potato chip flavor. It also shows the importance of consumers in the marketing and development of new products since they are the ones who provide insights and information on how brands can further improve their products.

As a brand owner or marketer, one of the ways to create a stronger relationship with your target market is by allowing them to directly participate in your campaign.

Show your target market that you value them by giving them the opportunity to share their ideas to improve your brand!

By doing so, not only will your marketing efforts benefit your brand, but it will also gain interest and attraction from your target market.

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Fridays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”

Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”

Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.

Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers, and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.

Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.

This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.

It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).

Guerrilla Marketing is inexpensive.

The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.

Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.

This is every business’ or brand’s dream!

Every Friday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.

Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.

Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.

Hope you’ve found this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Friday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla!


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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