Lay’s India may have been active on the advertising front, but their packaging and flavours have by and large stayed the same for years. Lay’s India’s new campaign titled ‘Smile Deke Dekho’ sees the brand collaborate with influencers across categories to introduce customised packaging for them.
“Lay’s has always been about sharing fun moments. Our new ‘Smile Deke Dekho’ campaign, emphasises that a smile is a universal language that represents many moods and flavours that go beyond conventional boundaries and help establish connections. As part of the campaign we kicked off a mass influencer outreach program, where we mapped each influencer’s smile and matched it to our flavour variants. We produced personalised packs of Lay’s chips, featuring the smiles of influencers. The packs have taken social media by storm and we have seen an outpouring of anecdotes and stories of how a smile transformed various moments,” says Sonam Vij, senior manager, Lay’s India.
Alpana Parida, managing director at DY Works believes that as far as changing the packaging goes, it’s a bold move for the company to make. “Consumers today are looking for newer experiences. In such a scenario, newness in packaging leads to greater trials and consumers staying with the brand for a little longer,” she says.
Parida explains that in FMCG goods, Lay’s chips fall under an impulse category and the number of times that a person purchases Lay’s can be a lot higher than the number of times that someone purchases, say, toothpaste. “For high turn FMCG products, bringing newness to packaging is the fastest way to communicate the idea of fun and coolness. In this case, they matched it to the campaign, and the fact is that they’ve created differentiation in a category that is so cluttered; where everybody looks so similar. There are so many ‘me-too’ brands that have the same colours and the same flavours and so on. They needed to create something significantly different. This is putting them in another bracket entirely, making it completely distinguished,” she opines.
She strongly believes that brands with a greater recall in the market, can break out of stagnation in a crowded market if they only muster up the courage to transform. “This attitude will hold them in good stead because it keeps reinforcing their market leader stance,” she says.
Kunel Gour, founder creative director at Animal, an independent creative agency working out of New Delhi, shares the same opinion — that the campaign and its execution is fairly simple, so it will connect with people. “People are sharing it, so its already there in terms of virality but it’s hard to identify the influencer on the package, but I don’t think that was their task anyway. They just wanted to leverage in terms of promotion of the campaign. People like Kusha Kapila and the influencers they’re working with are pretty well known, so to get them to give the brand a shout out, they must have designed the packaging to collaborate with them,” he mentions.
He also points out that this is PepsiCo's way of bringing an international Lay's campaign to India. Earlier in 2019, Pepsico associated with a charity group called Operation Smiles, that carries out surgeries for children suffering from cleft lip or cleft palate, to create a campaign. Forbes reported that PepsiCo said it will donate $1 million to Operation Smile through proceeds from sales of its campaign packaging.
When asked if working closely with influencers would affect bottomline sales numbers in India, Gour answers that the idea is to just be a part of the culture. “On social media, people are looking for ways to share and to associate with brands and be a part of that culture. It could also enhance brand recognition at the retail level. The virality of the campaign is going to support its shelf value. You’re going to see that packet and you’re going to remember that someone in your friends list or someone from your family has posted about it,” he explains.
Shekhar Badve, the founder, director at Lokus Design highlighted that this is part of a larger global Smile campaign. “Smile universally has a greater connect and is an effective way to communicate a mood or emotion. There is a natural ease and affinity towards smiling faces or characters. This is a way to penetrate the target audience, who these days typically shy away from chips or fried foods,” he says.
Badve also mentions that most brands look to encash on topical phenomenons or contextual trends. “This is great way to remain relevant and resonate with the audience, to be seen as an active brand and of course get some spike in sales. Close to 60 per cent of buying decisions are based on packaging design and if the packaging cues topical phenomenons or current trends it has a very high probability of being picked up. The influencers used are very popular so they would resonate better...they would induce trials” he signs off.