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Lay?s Do Us a Flavor contest is back, this time with Snapchat activation

Lay?s is reintroducing its popular Do Us a Flavor contest, allowing consumers a chance at $1 million by sending in ?pitches? for potato chip flavors through photos, videos or written descriptions to a mobile-optimized Web site.

Helping Lay's celebrate the personalities behind the flavors is TV personality Nick Lachey, who last year helped surprise the four finalists and award the winner. After the fan vote, three finalist flavors will then be fully developed and brought to store shelves nationwide for America's vote, ultimately deciding which fan will take home the $1 million grand prize.

?This year, Lay?s is hosting Snapchat ads that will inspire potato chip fans nationwide to pitch new flavors by showing them that flavor is everywhere you look,? said a Lay?s spokesperson. ?New this year, the Inspiration Gallery feature on the contest homepage allows users to view other fans? $1 million submission flavor ideas.

?Flavor Pantry is another new feature that showcases all of the flavor ideas that a user has submitted in a personal link that will be personalized for each consumer.?

The Pitch
In keeping with the style of this year?s contest, 2017?s iteration of Do Us a Flavor will be called The Pitch, and many of the pitches sent in will be recorded on mobile devices, a simple transition from the Snapchat activation Lay?s has set up.

To kick off this year's contest, the Lay's brand teamed up with Lachey and his brother Drew for a one-night-only event in New York. To inspire submissions, the Lachey brothers held a "pitch-off" ? bringing flavors to life on stage through song and dance.

Similar to past installments of Do Us a Flavor, a judging panel made up of chefs, foodies and flavor experts will narrow down the semifinalists to three finalist flavors that will be fully developed by Frito-Lay's culinary experts and brought to market this summer. Once the finalist flavors are announced, it will be up to fans to vote and decide which flavor is worth $1 million. 

The winning flavor will be revealed in the fall. Semi-finalists will receive $10,000, and the two runner-up finalists will each win $50,000 in prize money. The grand prize winner will take home $1 million.

PepsiCo has held Do Us a Flavor contests in numerous countries with consumers suggesting millions of ideas for chip flavors around the world. 

In July 2012, the Lay's brand launched its first "Do Us A Flavor" contest in the U.S., which resulted in Lay's Cheesy Garlic Bread submitted by Karen Weber-Mendham, a children's librarian from Land O'Lakes, Wis., being selected as the first million-dollar winner. 

The contest returned to the U.S. for a second time in Jan. 2014, which resulted in Lay's Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger submitted by Meneko Spigner McBeth, a nurse from Deptford, N.J., as the second grand-prize winner.  

And in January 2015, the third installment began, which later crowned Lay's Southern Biscuits and Gravy the winner. The winning submission was from Hailey Green, a travel agent from Noblesville, Ind.

Snack food marketing
Campaigns in the snack food sector tend towards big swings towards virality. Such was the case when fellow potato chip brand Pringles encouraged customers to create a ?Pringles Ringle? out of its potato chips and share it on social media (see story). 

Fellow Frito-Lay property Cheetos also attempted to go viral with a Halloween campaign that invited consumers to purchase its Bag of Bones products, create ghoulish combinations with the monster-themed shapes and upload their art to a mobile-optimized exhibit site for a chance to win prizes (see story). 

?We?re calling this year?s contest The Pitch because we?re asking fans to simply ?pitch? Lay?s their best potato chip flavor idea and the inspiration behind it,? the spokesperson said. ?We?ve learned that people have no bounds when it comes to creating unique flavor ideas, and that?s why we want to let that passion shine more than ever through people?s flavorful pitches.?