- PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division ran a "Do Us a Flavor" contest to determine its newest potato chip flavor, with a $1 million grand prize for the winner. After sorting through millions of submissions, it announced three finalists in a press release: Lay's Crispy Taco, Lay's Kettle Cooked Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese and Lay's Wavy Fried Green Tomato.
- The brand is now turning to social media to let fans vote on the finalists between July 24 to Oct. 8. In that period, Lay's is asking its customers to try all three flavors and vote as often as once per day for a chance to win prizes. People can vote at the Lay's website or via Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #SweepstakesEntry contest along with one for their flavor of choice — #VoteEverythingBagel, #VoteFriedGreenTomato or #VoteCrispyTaco.
- People can also announce their picks via Snapchat by swiping up on their chosen flavor and then following a set of instructions to confirm the vote. The contest is Frito Lay’s fourth to decide what new flavor to add to its product mix.
Lay's fourth iteration of its Do Us a Flavor effort points to how food brands can leverage social media to engage dedicated fans and generate online buzz around new product launches. Participating in the contest is incentivized via prizes and also might spur potato chip sales as curious customers try out the three new offerings, all of which put a quirky spin on the usual Lay's formula.
The campaign's roots go back to 2012 with the first Do Us a Flavor contest that led to the Lay's Cheesy Garlic Bread offering. The effort remains relevant, maybe even more so in today's marketing atmosphere, in that it lets its audience be active participants in deciding a new product for market. Recent research from Yes Lifecycle Marketing underscores social media's power in guiding consumer shopping habits, especially among younger demographic groups, with 21% of surveyed Gen Zers reporting Snapchat informs purchasing decisions.
Stemming form that, Frito Lay has found a way to essentially run a low-cost (aside from prizes and marketing around the contest), large-scale product development team and focus group while gaining earned media for new potato chip flavors. Mondelez's Oreo cookie brand recently leveraged social media in a similar fashion with its #MyOreoCreation contest.
Frito-Lay has been engaging in innovative marketing with some of its other product lines as well, setting up an e-commerce market for its Cheetos brand and giving Doritos unique packaging that actually played the "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" soundtrack in promotion of the film's May release.