- Lay's is staking out space on the Coachella festival grounds to provide concert-goers an immersive tasting experience and show off new sustainability-minded packaging, per a news release.
- The Frito-Lay snack division will set up a series of "Potadomes" during both weekends of the event running April 15-24. Visitors who secure a reservation ahead of time will receive a four-course seated meal featuring Lay's chips that were baked less than 24 hours beforehand and sourced from West Coast agricultural partner farms. Bookings for the Fresh 4D experience open April 6 through a website page.
- The Potadomes also feature "Speakeasy Spuds" stations inspired by different music genres, with a Crunch Studios space where visitors can DJ, a Golden Glow dome displaying lighting synced to electronic music and a Flavor Pop hangout pairing bold flavors with pop tunes. Lay's is curating other experiences for the festival, which will also be the first place to try several variants of its chips in 100% commercially compostable packaging.
Lay's is seizing on the return of live concerts to promote its efforts to make a more eco-friendly bag of chips. The Coachella activations mark the first time that a food brand has had an experiential presence at the outdoor music festival, according to Melissa Miranda, senior director of marketing at Frito-Lay North America. Additionally, Lay's will run a contest through its Instagram page with a chance to win tickets to the show.
Coachella has been on hiatus since the start of the pandemic but is returning this year without vaccine or mask requirements. As consumers flock to the grounds for a sense of catharsis and return to normalcy, Lay's is trying to pair its snack offerings with the diverse music genres on the lineup to create a sense of immersion.
Consumers who miss out on a seat at the more curated Potadomes tastings will see Lay's pop up elsewhere over the two weekends. A Lay's Lounge sampling room in the general admission area is modeled on the golden hues often used by the brand in its marketing. The room includes points of interaction evoking different music styles like pop, electronic and hip-hop. At outdoor festivals where room to take a breather is scarce, the space may make for a welcome reprieve.
Lay's in-person push around Coachella sends another signal that experiential marketing is back in force after encountering hurdles earlier in the pandemic. Cheetos, another Frito-Lay snack, had a presence at the recent South By Southwest in Austin, Texas. The "Hands-Free House" displayed technology that was compatible with people whose fingers were coated in the orange dust from its chips, called Cheetle. The concept seemed to toy with the idea of COVID-19 precautions that have tried to limit high-touch surface interactions.
Brands have long used Coachella as a venue to develop complex activations that try to match the flash of the live performances. Lay's hopes that the typically young crowd the festival attracts will be receptive to its introduction of compostable packaging, which can be disposed of at special bins placed around the grounds. PepsiCo, Frito-Lay's parent, has a broader goal of making all of its packaging recyclable, compostable, biodegradable or reusable by 2025.
Experiential marketing is a popular tactic to engage millennials and Gen Zers, but carries its own sustainability concerns. As activity on the channel resumes, brands are trying to devise ways to pull off their campaigns with a greener mindset. Coors Light earlier this month built a Future Mart to herald the removal of plastic rings from its packaging. The pop-up was constructed from plastic-free and fully recyclable materials, including brewery scraps.