Farmers infuse local flavor to new effort for Lay's Potato Chips

Earlier this year, PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division began to reposition its Lay's Potato Chips brand around a new emotional theme, "Happiness is Simple," in hopes that it would connect with Americans nationwide.

Company: Frito-Lay
Campaign: Lay's Local
PR team: Internal and Ketchum, LA
Launch: May 12
Budget: Undisclosed

Objective: Earlier this year, PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division began to reposition its Lay's Potato Chips brand around a new emotional theme, “Happiness is Simple,” in hopes that it would connect with Americans nationwide. To build upon that theme, the company introduced a new marketing campaign in May that will coalesce later this summer in local communities from Maine to California.

Idea: This recent effort, “Lay's Local,” touts the chips' origins, which Frito-Lay says are sourced from potatoes grown on more than 80 farms in 27 states. The effort celebrates those local communities, along with the 18 states where 40,000-plus people work for the company.

“It's a chance to let people know... there's a presence for Lay's... in their state,” said Dave Skena, VP at Frito-Lay North America. “This is the first time we've used local growers to tell that story.”

Tools: Farmers will be central to the effort. For example, Frito-Lay kicked off the campaign with growers ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange on May 12. This summer, “Lay's Local” will take part in more than 50 local events, including the Maine Potato Blossom Festival and Utah Pioneer Days – both in July. Skena said the events chosen all “celebrate simple pleasures” and are events where consumers “make positive memories,” building on the brand's traditional holiday presence.

Media relations will center on local press where events take place. “The campaign is customized to the state level... with unique messages in all 50 states,” said Skena. It also includes ads featuring the farmers and an “aggressive” in-store presence that highlights local information.

Measurement: The company will measure sales in each market, as well as consumer perception.

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