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Lay?s bets on Instagram, Twitter to expand year-long campaign

PepsiCo.?s Lay?s is expanding its massive crowdsourced ?Do Us A Flavor? campaign this year to Instagram and Twitter to capture the growing amount of social media activity that is taking place on smartphones and tablets.

This is the second year of the Lay?s ?Do Us A Flavor? contest, which also includes Facebook and Web components. As marketers increasingly rely on consumers to create small, sharable pieces of content, Lay?s campaign highlights the invesments that marketers are pouring into crowdsourcing tactics.

?To gain scale and broaden the program?s reach, the ?Do Us A Flavor? program extends beyond Facebook this year,? said Chris Kuechenmeister, senior director of public relations at PepsiCo.?s Frito-Lay, Plano, TX.

?New in 2014, the program will be housed on and will also leverage other social channels ? all available via their mobile devices,? he said.

Relying on digital votes
The Lay?s ?Do Us A Flavor? campaign is primarily accessible through the microsite which is optimized for both mobile and desktop devices.

The microsite lets consumers type in their flavor ideas or take a short quiz about their food preferences to create the perfect chip flavor.

The competition this year has also been expanded to include three types of chips ? original, kettle cooked and wavy.

To celebrate the launch of the campaign, consumers can share their creations via Twitter for the chance to be included in a shout-out from TV personality Wayne Brady.

Yesterday, Mr. Brady turned content submitted through the microsite into comedy sketches in real-time. These sketches will be pushed out through Lay?s Twitter page.

With more social media activity taking place on mobile devices, crowdsourcing is a growing trend that marketers are leveraging to create content through smartphones and tablets which are essentially tied to a consumer?s hip nowadays.

As part of this, Instagram is playing a bigger role for Lay?s this year. Once consumers create a custom chip flavor, the content can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram. 

Lay?s will then publish user-created content across Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #DoUsAFlavor.

?We see consumer engagement as an ongoing opportunity to create a true dialogue with consumers and allow them to play a role in how a brand evolves,? Mr. Kuechenmeister said.

?This can take a variety of forms, and the ?Do Us A Flavor? contest is just one example of how we are using consumer engagement to allow our fans to put their personal stamp on the brand,? he said.

Continuing SMS focus
Similar to last year, consumers can submit their ideas by texting in the keyword FLAVOR to the short code 24477 (see story). 

Consumers are then sent back a message asking for their birthdate and can then text in their flavor idea with up to three ingredients.

Entries can be submitted through April 5.

A judging panel of chefs, flavor experts and foodies will then narrow down the submissions to four finalists.

The winning ideas will be fully developed by Lay?s and fans will again vote this summer to pick their No. 1 favorite flavor.

The consumer behind the winning idea will receive either $1 million or one percent of the total sales from the product during a one-year period, depending on which is more.

The three runner-ups will receive $50,000.

"Participatory campaigns are golden," said Jeff Hasen, chief marketing officer of Mobivity, Phoenix.

Mr. Hasen is not affiliated with Lay's. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

"The key is to create something that is perceived as valuable and worth a consumer's time," he said. "By including more digital channels and enabling crowdsourcing via mobile, Lay's is giving consumers choice in how to engage. That's smart."

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York