While PepsiCo aims for brand building with the campaign, the category lead explains the marketing strategy for 2024.
To kickstart 2024, Lay’s has introduced its first campaign for the year. Titled ‘Isey Kehte Hain Pyaar’, the campaign features Bollywood celebrities Neetu Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor in what the brand calls a ‘snack showdown’.
Conceptualised and created by Leo Burnett, the campaign portrays a playful snack skirmish between the mother and son, crafting a narrative around love, loyalty, and, naturally, a bag of Lay's. The idea is- it’s all love until it is about a pack of Lay’s.
The real-life mother-son duo present a playful dynamic where Ranbir, despite being an ideal son with regards to other elements of the ad (such as helping Neetu with household chores), faces off with his mother in a coveted game of Lay's chips. The two are seen hiding their Lay’s packs away from each other while ‘Chanda Hai Tu’ plays in the background.
PepsiCo’s list of brand ambassadors for Lay’s has been fairly stellar. We’ve seen Saif Ali Khan, MS Dhoni, Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor rep the snacks brand over the years. Ranbir Kapoor became the brand ambassador of Lay’s first in 2014. Since then, the actor has been featured in many TV commercials for the brand.
However, this is the first time the actor will roam the sets of Lay’s commercials with his mother. Saumya Rathor, category lead for Potato Chips at PepsiCo India, says the campaign marks Lay’s’ return to thematic advertising after a four-year hiatus. Thematic campaigns are long-term, larger concepts that are focused on brand building.
She says, “Over the last few years, we've been focused on some amazing innovations. So, it's been after a gap of about four years that we are coming back with a thematic campaign, which is essentially a larger brand thought. So, we needed to get the right human insight behind this.”
With Ranbir Kapoor’s recent success at the box office with ‘Animal’, the campaign couldn’t have come at a better time. As per Rathor, the success of the film compliments the campaign, especially with the kind of family character played by Ranbir in the film as well.
She says, “We have him on the brand for a very long time and he has delivered a huge hit in the form of Animal. But the campaign was conceived way before the film was released. It's plain serendipity because even in Animal he's playing a character who is very family-oriented. There's a lot of emotion when it comes to him and his father. So I feel that this could be a nice softer contrast between the relationship that he had there and the relationship that he has on Lay's with his mother.”
The Lay's team aims to encapsulate a genuine human truth, undertaking extensive consumer research sessions to comprehend the emotional connection individuals share with the things they love. Rathor explains that Lay's, as a brand, evokes potent memories and emotions, prompting them to explore the theme of reluctance to share things one genuinely cherishes.
“Typically, if you love something, you don't want to share it with people. We realise that while it's true for Lay’s, it's also a larger human truth. We felt that this was a very it was a space that we kind of wanted to delve into because we are a brand which is very warm and fuzzy.”
The campaign will have a healthy mix between TV and digital. But for us, even social media is going to play a huge part because a lot of content discoverability, and a lot of conversation and buzz happen on social platforms.
Consumer anecdotes shared during the research underscore instances where individuals hesitated to share Lay's even with close family members, highlighting the distinctive bond people foster with the popular snack. Rathor points out that the campaign transcends Lay's and probes a broader human truth – the disinclination to share cherished possessions, encompassing love, familial ties, or even snacks.
The campaign will see a 360-degree push, with a focus on both traditional and digital media. Rathor highlights, “It is going to be a healthy mix between TV and digital. But for us, even social media is going to play a huge part because a lot of content discoverability, and a lot of conversation and buzz happen on social platforms. So it's going to be a surround sound for consumers.”
Growth strategy for ‘24
Looking ahead to Lay's growth strategy for 2024, Rathor accentuates the objective of driving penetration, particularly in the North and East markets. While acknowledging Lay's as a mass brand with an omnipresent presence, she underscores the necessity for a nuanced strategy in distinct regions to intelligently navigate market dynamics.
Our business and marketing objective is really to drive that penetration in all parts of India. North and East are very important markets for us.
She says, “Our business and marketing objective is really to drive that penetration in all parts of India. North and East are very important markets for us. So I think we definitely kind of want to drive our presence a lot more in those geographies. But Lay’s is a mass brand, so there's no geography where you won't find us.”
The brand is also seeing a lot of consumption occurring through quick-commerce. Rathor underscores the importance of in-home occasions. She explains how quick commerce aligns with Lay's strategy to enhance household consumption, emphasising the significance of partnerships with key players to drive this penetration.
“For us, it's really about ensuring that our strategy of getting more in-home consumers. Of course, we have very strong partnerships with some of the key players that offer that. This is definitely a very key way of expansion.”