Saturday, February 23, 2013

Lay's "Do Us a Flavor" Guerrilla Marketing

In 2009, Lay's began their creative fan-driven product campaign: Do Us a Flavor, which has continued to gain traction every year since then.  Customers submit their flavor combinations ideas, then "brand representatives, foodies, and food scientists choose the top 10 flavors" to make on a chip (Stampler 2013).  This year Lay's even used celebrities to narrow down the flavors to the top 3.
Throughout the campaign, Lay's moved consumer engagement to the streets through a specific form of guerrilla marketing: street marketing.  This is a critique of the campaign and suggestions for incorporating street marketing from the beginning.

1.  Understand the brand's Unique Selling Proposition: Lay's USP is the contest which focuses on fan creation and interaction.  Furthermore, the unique flavor finalists draw in customers: Cheese Garlic Bread, Chicken & Waffles, Sriracha.

Presence Marketing
2.  Incorporate the USP in nature: Lay's incorporated the campaign into nature through the use of pop-up marketing and brand ambassadors.  They launched the campaign on July 20, 2012 with a pop-up store in Times Square so consumers could taste test 20 of the potential flavors.  Eva Longoria and Michael Symon, celebrity chef, were also present to take pictures at the pop-up event.  Booths/stands were also next to the pop-up, with the top looking like a Lay's potato chip.  Lastly, two brand ambassadors dressed up as a flavor finalist (Chicken & Waffles) to hand out samples.
Brand Ambassadors

Experiential Marketing: Pop-Up Tents

3.  Incorporate audience engagement into the idea: The whole concept of the campaign is consumer engagement so Lay's is already utilizing marketing effectively. My suggestion is to leverage the consumer engagement to start the interaction from the beginning and carry it out throughout the end.

Suggestion: Use Pop-Up tents to promote consumer engagement three times during the campaign, instead of one.
Experiential Marketing: Consumers
tasting existing Lay's flavors at
pop-up tent.
  • Pop-Up tent 1: At the start of the campaign so consumers can make and submit flavor combinations in person. Lay's can have different seasoning options available along with plain chips to increase the interaction. 
  • Pop-Up tent 2: To test the top 20 flavors which Lay's already does.
  • Pop-Up tent 3: Consumers can test the final 3 flavors in Times Square by purchasing snack bags from the pop-up site.  The pop-up tent should be in place for a few days so the consumers can return and purchase their favorite flavor in the full size bags.
Potential for life-size
sales thermometer
4.  Finish the idea by creating an effective call-to-action: At Pop-Up tent 3, consumers can purchase the top 3 flavors onsite.  Lay's can use these sales figures to determine which flavor received the most sales and use that as a factor in determining the winner of the contest.  
Suggestion: As the sales figures come in, Lays can have 3 life-size cans of Lay's Stax in front of the pop-up tent with each of the 3 finalist flavors shown on each can.  The cans will also look like fundraising thermometers so Lay's can show which flavor is ahead in the pop-up tent sales.

Lay's has done an excellent job of making consumer engagement a focus in its Do Us A Flavor campaign through guerrilla marketing, specifically street marketing, experiential marketing, pop-up tents and brand ambassadors.  Its campaign has gain wild success through incorporating fan creation in introducing new flavors of chips. As Lay's plans its campaign for next year, it can leverage consumer engagement by incorporating it in three steps throughout the campaign.

Remember: Say "I do" to engaging the audience with guerrilla marketing--Kayleigh Green

Buss, D.  2012.  Frito-Lay Launches Times Square Pop-Up Store Today with Eva Longoria.  Retrieved from
Stampler, L.  2013.  Inside Lay's Crazy Process for Making Chicken & Waffle Flavor Chips.  Retrieved from


  1. Hi, just a moment back I was searching for the information on the experiential marketing and now I am here. So much information, really well executed blog. This is really informative and I will for sure refer my friends the same.

  2. Thank you, that means a lot! I also posted about Sharpie markers who used experiential marketing in their campaign as well.

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