By Sofia Garfias-Yi
If you’ve been on the internet in the past three years, you’ve probably been exposed to Lay’s Do Us A Flavor Campaign. Aside from the catchy (and quite punny) name, the campaign itself became a hit among the many users of the internet. Essentially, Lay’s reached out to the public for fresh, creative flavors that would ultimately have a chance to be the newest product. Fans had the opportunity to submit any new flavor they wanted, and were also allowed to provide the name of their creation. You can only imagine, of course, what this open-endedness led to. Flavors like “Disappointment”, “Catfish Tho”, “Capitalism”, and “Green is not a creative color” appeared in the ranks of the many chip flavors competing for the one million dollar prize. A simple search online reveals the many ridiculous chip flavors that people submitted (and if you’re curious, this year’s winner was Southern Biscuits and Gravy).
As we can see, not everyone took the campaign too seriously. However, the thing that stands out is that the participants had fun. As these entertaining chip flavors quickly gained publicity, so did Lay’s. I stumbled across this campaign last year, and was extremely amused at the amount of attention it was getting. Though I don’t consider myself a big chip-eater, I warmed up to Lay’s a bit, mostly because of how successful this campaign had become.
If there’s anything to be learned from Lay’s Do Us A Flavor campaign, it’s that advertising is successful when it creates a culture. In Lay’s case, they allowed consumers the chance to interact with the company. In turn, Lay’s campaign ended up encouraging spontaneity, humor and (slightly dark) sarcasm amongst its fans. This created a casual, friendly culture between the company and its customers. Had the company simply stuck to traditional advertising through television and social media, they might not have been as successful. This only leads me to think that the guy that started this campaign may feel like, well, all that and a bag of chips.