Many of you may be familiar with Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” contest which was a major campaign for PepsiCo. The contest first launched in 2012 sought to bridge the gap and increase audience engagement with their consumers via social media platforms. The rules were simple. Fans were asked to pick the next great potato chip flavor, pitching off the wall flavor combination ideas, with the hopes of being 1 out of 3 finalist who would have their flavor produced, brought to store shelves around the world. From there consumers had the opportunity to taste the creations and cast their vote on their favorite fan made flavor. The winner would have their flavor added to the Lay’s family and take home the $1 million grand prize.
In chapter 4 of Spreadable Media, the concept of Hearing vs. Listening (175-182) was explored within the media environment and digital age. PepsiCo had great success strengthening its brand and interacting with their community of fans by including them in the process. Nearly 4 million flavors were submitted with a majority of them being millennials who practically live and breathe on social media, a demographic that PepsiCo struggled to connect with in previous years.
The success can be explained by fully understanding the concept and difference between Hearing vs. Listening. PepsiCo made a strategic decision to listen to their consumers prioritizing the ways media audiences participate to drive consumer generated interest, conversations, and play a role in their success.