In the second "Do Us a Flavor" campaign, consumers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada submitted potential chip flavors, and used hashtags to vote for their favorite finalists.
For Frito-Lay's second "Do Us A Flavor" campaign, the snack chip brand once again looked to boost social media engagements by asking customers to help them choose a future flavor.
The vote, which comes to a close today, has been tallied via hashtags on Twitter, Instagram, and Vine, as well as online and through text messages.
Consumers not only voted on the flavors, but created them as well. Nearly 14.5 million suggestions, more than triple last year's number of entries, were submitted.
That number was narrowed down to four flavors - Cappuccino, Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese, Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger, and Wavy Mango Salsa - which were all developed by the PepsiCo-owned brand's culinary experts. Bacon, cheese, chocolate, garlic, and butter were among the most popular ingredients submitted by fans.
"What's exciting about all three contests is that you see a range of flavors represented. In recent years, we've seen consumer taste preferences become much more adventurous and I think that's reflected in the variety of flavors we've seen consumers submit," says Tina Mahal, senior marketing director for the Lay's brand.
Instagram and Vine followers shared their reviews of the finalists, which Frito-Lay aggregated on its contest website and social channels, adds Mahal, who was "blown away by the response to this year's contest."
Do Us A Flavor, also known as Do Us A Flavour in the U.K. and Canada, is a global campaign. The voting period for Canadian flavors is over and the winner will be announced next week. Walkers Crisps, the British snack manufacturer Frito-Lay acquired in 1989, has six finalists to choose from.
On both continents, the campaign sought to bridge the online and offline experience. After the finalists were unveiled on giant screens in New York City's Times Square in July, the company distributed the first free samples from a Frito-Lay delivery truck. The following month, Uber customers were able to enter a code on the taxi service's app and receive a picnic basket that included the finalist flavors. Additionally, Frito-Lay used pedicabs to deliver chips to tweeters in various cities.
In the U.K., Walkers Crisps installed English soccer legend Gary Lineker's virtual likeness inside a Twitter-activated vending machine at a London bus stop. Every time someone tweeted @Walkers_busstop, a bag of chips fell from the digital machine. A video showing consumers' reactions has been viewed more than 800,000 times on YouTube.
Frito-Lay could have very easily just announced a new flavor to its consumers. But Bob Cargill, social media director at Overdrive Interactive, thinks it was smart of the brand to draw out the introduction in contest form, calling people to participate at every step of the process.
"I would imagine any flavor of potato chips is going to taste good, so it's a win-win," says Cargill, who believes the multichannel voting will give Frito-Lay a chance to see which of their platforms are most popular.
"It's allowing people who wouldn't normally pay attention to potato chips [to be] suddenly involved in this marketing campaign, and help Lay's to spread the word," Cargill continues. "You're not just watching the game: you're the referee, you're the judge, you're voting."
The winning flavor in the U.S. will be available in stores by the end of the month, earning its inventor $1 million or 1 percent of the chips' net sales through July 1, 2015, whichever is greater.