Lay’s looks coast to coast for inspiration

Tourtière chips anyone? The brand's latest Do Us a Flavour contest asks Canadians for regionally-inspired tastes.


Lay’s has brought back its Do Us a Flavour contest, this time with a patriotic twist.

The Tastes of Canada theme this year asks contest participants to submit flavour ideas based on regions – Western Canada, Ontario, Quebec or Atlantic Canada – for a chance to win $50,000 and 1% of their flavour’s future sales. The four finalists, who will be announced in August, will each be from one of those regions.

Now in its third year, the contest has generated nearly two million submissions from Canadians looking to have their chip flavour brought to stores. Flavours are submitted online, by text message or by mail and judged for creativity, simplicity and potential to be a great tasting chip.

The finalists chosen then have their flavours hit stores to be voted on by Canadians. Past Canadian winners include Jalapeño Mac N’ Cheese on Lay’s Wavy in 2014 and Maple Moose on Lay’s Original in 2013.

This year’s Tastes of Canada campaign launched with a road-trip themed TV spot, created by BBDO, which ran during the Oscars last Sunday. The ads will continue to run throughout the program (with the grand prize winner announced at the end of November), with the media buy executed by OMD.

Promotion will also include social media support, as well as YouTube, with digital led by Proximity. In-store POS materials were handled by Mark IV, and PR by Praxis.

The new theme came in part from seeing two successful campaigns with Canadian farmers and from Lay’s use of Canadian potatoes, says Susan Irving, senior director of marketing for core brands at PepsiCo Foods Canada.

The country’s diversity also sparked the idea. “Canada has such a melting pot of people which causes such different and unique flavours,” she says.

The contest is also again taking an interactive approach. In previous years, after entering their chip flavour, users would get a customized chip bag image to share on social media. This time around, participants get one of 134 unique six-second videos that feature their customized chip name and flavour.