Frito Lay Canada wins the day

Capital C's creative response to the SunChips bag debacle helped the brand boost sales.

For Frito Lay Canada, the problem was huge and immediate, but the solution got the company featured on Real Time with Bill Maher and increased sales by 6% in one week.

The problem: the company’s US counterpart had pulled its compostable SunChips bags off the shelves because of consumer complaints that the new bag was too noisy. The decision to remove the bags south of the border resulted in scathing media coverage, including a mocking feature on the satirical news show The Colbert Report. The negative publicity bled into Canada, even though Frito Lay Canada was committed to keeping the bag.

Frito Lay Canada needed to take action quickly to fight off the misinformation. 

The solution: with Capital C in Toronto leading the charge on a quick-turnaround campaign, a media plan – which included the Globe and Mail, Calgary Herald, Toronto Star, Winnipeg Free Press and Vancouver Sun – was executed, featuring a full-page ‘letter to the nation,’ and online PSA that appeared on the websites of the CBC, Toronto Star, Calgary Sun, La Presse and online Canadian ad inventory on ABC and NBC websites.

The result? A 6% increase in product sales in just one week.

The move also won praise for the entire country from US comedian Bill Maher, who talked about the decision on his show Real Time with Bill Maher (video clip below). The story was also picked up by Wired magazine.

Bill Maher on the SunChips debate. (Note: This clip is unedited from its broadcast version.)