By now, we all know just how powerful social media is. One false move and a company can be in big trouble. On the flip side, if a company comes up with a way to use social media as a way to engage customers, it can mean major success. Whether it’s day-to-day, or for a national campaign, these days, it’s all about customer engagement. And, boy, did Lay’s hit the nail on the head with their Do Us A Flavour Contest.
The campaign, which first launched in 2013, asked people to submit a new chip flavour, along with a name and up to three ingredients, via social media. In the first year, Canada’s version of the contest had more than 600,000 entries. Six. Hundred. Thousand. That’s a whole lot of flavour suggestions to sift through. From those entries, four flavours actually made in onto shelves with the eventual winner getting $50,000 and 1% of sales. In 2013, the final four were: Creamy Garlic Caesar, Grilled Cheese and Ketchup, Perogy Platter and Maple Moose.
After the final four flavours were selected, customers could go to the store to try each of the flavours and take to social media (they could even use Vine!) to vote for their favourite. I can honestly say that I remember going to the store and buying each of the four flavours (mini-bags.. to share, of course). What do I remember most about the flavours? I couldn’t even eat a whole Maple Moose chip. It was just that awful. Of course, Maple Moose was crowned the eventual winner.
Not only were customers using social media to vote, people even went as far as posting videos of themselves on YouTube as they tasted and rated the flavours. This video is from a popular page in Japan called emmymadeinjapan; the host had the final four flavours from the 2015 contest sent to her:
Lessons for Others
The whole point of the contest wasn’t that someone would win $50,000, or even that there was going to be a new chip flavour on shelves. The point was that Lay’s was able to engage customers every step of the way:
Way to engage #1: customers take to social media to submit a flavour idea via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Text.
Way to engage #2: when the final four are decided, customers go to the store, buy all four flavours.
Way to engage #3: customers take to social media to a) discuss which flavour(s) they love and which flavour(s) they find inedible *cough* Maple Moose *cough* and b) vote!
In 2014, the contest had more than 1,000,000 submissions and, in 2015, nearly 950,000. This year, however, Lay’s switched things up. While customers can still vote for their favourite flavour, they must choose from a list provided by Lay’s.
Despite the fact that Lay’s has switched things up for the time being, the fact remains that the campaign can only be seen as a measuring stick for other companies who hope to engage their customers. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing which flavours hit the shelves this year. As long as it’s not Maple Moose.
Name of Organization Contact: Kevin Gonsalves, Social Media Manager
Authored by: AshleyMc
If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.