B!G Gold: Juniper Park plants Lay’s in familiar ground

At several billion dollars in sales, Lay's is an icon of American culture and a household staple. But as consumers turned to healthier options, Frito-Lay needed a way to restore confidence among the sales force and reignite retail partners' enthusiasm for the brand.

The challenge

At several billion dollars in sales, Lay’s is an icon of American culture and a household staple. But as consumers turned to healthier options, Frito-Lay needed a way to restore confidence among the sales force and reignite retail partners’ enthusiasm for the brand.

The Lay’s team bypassed their retail marketing partner and asked Juniper Park to build a customer activation program that took the ‘close to home’ movement farther than it had ever gone before, with a localized retail program.

The agency set out to re-engage sales forces and retailers at the ultimate moment of consumer truth – the point of purchase – but not in the typical chain-customized mode. Frito-Lay’s North American AOR developed a retail campaign building on its consumer-facing marketing program ‘Happiness is Simple,’ which established that Lay’s, made with just three ingredients, are, like all the best things in life, simple – and did so with regional customizations.

The insight

As a huge brand, it’s easy to forget that Lay’s potatoes are locally grown on farms across America: its potatoes are sourced from over 80 farms in 27 states, many of which have been growing potatoes for Lay’s for generations, and the chips are locally manufactured in 21 states. Research confirmed that people have strong beliefs that if something comes from the land, it has inherently good qualities.

As the recession exploded, people were also looking to support American businesses, especially those close to home. Lay’s local story could turn Frito-Lay from a faceless corporate image into a brand with simple, honest values that resided within American communities.

The B!G idea

Rather than customize the program by retailer, the local story allowed for in-store activation that was tailored to individual markets, to ignite the pride of local sales forces and retailers.

While the ‘Locally Grown’ program theme was consistent, each message was as local as possible. In Tennessee, messaging talked about potatoes from Tennessee, and in California, about potatoes from California. In total, Juniper Park created 38 different versions and over 300 pieces of POS material for the sales force, ranging from freestanding displays to cart-talkers to shelf blades.

The impact

This customer activation program saw the biggest up-take of display materials in Frito-Lay’s history, with customized messaging deployed at every major grocery account across America.

Within eight weeks, Lay’s earned over 76 million impressions from journalists and bloggers alike. And most importantly, dollar sales of Lay’s are up significantly to date in 2009 [numbers were provided].

What the judges said

‘Local matters. Brilliant insight into the American psyche at a time when traditional values are being craved. Localizing the insight at point of purchase engages regional pride and appreciation for a big brand and a big company, when big companies are not in favour.’

- Peg Hunter, Home Depot Canada

‘Now this is an idea that was just right for the times, was based on great insight and was bold enough to take on the challenges of local variation with a message that truly was relevant to each market. The creative was charming, highly watchable and I would enjoy seeing them again and again on TV and would not switch the dial. Congrats on a job well done!’

- Andrew Barrett, LG Electronics

‘This is absolutely different from anything that is conventional to the category.’

- Ann Nurock, Grey Canada

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Silver: Capital C and Nissan

Bronze: Ogilvy and Hellmann’s

Judging panel