Case of Creative Crowdsourcing: Let Your Fans Guide Your Brand

“Today consumers want to have their voices heard. They want to have their hand in where a brand goes, what a flavor is for a brand, what direction it goes, they want to have a say” – according to the Chief Marketing Officer of Frito-Lay North America, Anindita Mukherjee. That statement inspired me to present you with a good example of a company that allowed its fans to speak up through an engaging, creative and inspiring crowdsourcing campaign that I think we can all learn from.


The “Do Us a Flavor” Campaign

Do Us a Flavor” is Lay’s ongoing campaign launched on the 20th of July this year and running up until the 6th of October in America. On its website, Lay’s is asking its US fans to “come up with the next great Lay’s flavor”. By accessing the “Do Us a Flavor” application (only accessible for American users) or sending a text message, users can name their flavor, pick out what ingredients will go into it and share their inspiration submitting their own flavor. The person who submits the winning flavor, as chosen by Lay’s, will win $1 million dollars or 1% of the chips’ 2013 net sales (whichever turns out to be more) from PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division.


A remarkable fact is that the “Do Us A Flavor” campaign has first been launched in the UK in 2008 and since been launched in several countries across Europe, Asia, Africa and South America – creating wonderful new flavors such as Thailand’s hot and spicy crab, Turkey’s haydari and India’s mastana mango. The decision to renew the same campaign in a different market is explained by Salman Amin, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, PepsiCo: “Judging from the success of these contests worldwide, we feel confident that the response will be incredibly enthusiastic here in the U.S. Consumers love to create new products and fervently support brands and companies that demonstrate they truly value their opinions. Moreover, everyone loves potato chips—each of us has a favorite taste that came from years of experimentation, and we all like contests with big prizes that reward our creativity.”


What can you learn from Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” campaign?

  • Engagement
    The contest has generated more than 8 million chips flavor ideas globally. Why? Because people love to have their voices and opinions heard. Lay’s is not only asking its fans to submit a flavor, it’s making each one of them feel special by doing so. Of course, don’t forget the fact that giving your fans a material incentive to participate will create even more engagement.
  • Attention
    Once you have your fans engaged, news spread fast. The moment they take part in the contest, it shows in their private Facebook networks. Lay’s campaign has already been a hit across the globe in more than 14 countries, resulting in a lot of new and rather different flavors: Chili & Chocolate, Caesar Salad, Late Night Kebob etc.
  • Personal relationship
    By making people feel part of the company’s core processes, you build a stronger relationship with them. Consumers become fans, fans become creators. Or as Guillaume Jesel, a Senior Vice President for global marketing at MAC, describes the strategy as letting “the consumers take the steering wheel for a while.”
  • Problem solving
    Crowdsourcing enables you with the quicker and lower cost way to decide on your next product, inspired by consumers’ needs and wishes.
  • Replicate success
    If you have a winning idea in one market, chances are it can be a winning idea in many other markets as well as it then meets local preferences.


In the past couple of years, we’ve witnessed numerous of successful crowdsourcing campaigns that proved not only to help brands design their new products (Citroen, Domino’s Delivery Vehicle) but also led to astonishing results considering the level of consumer engagement (Cape Town tourism Campaign, YouTube’s “Life in a Day”). So if you are still spending quarter of your budget in researching your consumers’ needs and hours of sitting around with your R&D team brainstorming about your next product, it may be time you consider giving your fans the chance to express their visions through a creative crowdsourcing campaign?


You can also see a video with Salman Amin talking about the campaign here:



Why Oreo’s ‘Daily Twist’ is one of our all-time favorite social media campaigns

Few cookies have reached the same level of iconicity as Kraft Foods’ Oreo. Its round shape, blackish color and white cream stuffing have undeniably added to its success but as a social media agency we wonder: where would the crowd-pleasing, twistable cookie be today without effective social media marketing?

Let’s zoom in on one of their global digital and social media campaigns that reached millions of hearts (and mouths) and delivered proof that even cookies can provide endless food for thought. We are talking about the wildly successful ‘Daily Twist’ campaign that saw a 110% growth in fan interaction per social-media post only a few months after the campaign was launched. Even though the campaign dates back to 2012, in our view, it earned a spot among the best food branding campaigns on social media ever. Here’s why…

It used milestones and pop culture events to create engagement

2012 was the year that America’s favorite cookie turned 100. Needless to say, it was a cause for celebration.

Every day for 100 days, the Oreo was given a different “twist” – styled to look like Elvis, a panda bear or like the surface of Mars after the Mars Rover had driven over it. On the ‘Daily Twist’ site, users could suggest their “twist”. The campaign was driven on Facebook and also featured on Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest.

The Oreo twists were especially created to spark conversation and sharing, referring to milestones or pop culture events that people could relate to and share their thoughts about.

It had timely and shareable content combined with an element of surprise

While some of the cookie designs were planned ahead like the Olympics or Labor Day, others were more agile, tapping into events like the premiere of ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Rises’, the release of the iPhone5 and the birth of a Chinese panda bear. Monitoring trending topics and utilizing current events ensured the content was always relevant and timely. Couple that with the surprise of what each day would bring, and you’ve got a campaign worth tuning into.

They exercized strong brand values

The campaign kicked-off with the Gay Pride rainbow cookie in recognition of the LGBT community, much to the chagrin of conservative crowds.

The Facebook post set off a heated online debate that even led opponents of gay marriage to call for an Oreo boycott. But while supporters and opponents were fighting their online battle, the rainbow cookie doubled Oreo’s fan growth.

By having a strong stance and sticking to it, Oreo established itself as a courageous brand amongst its more liberal fans.

The campaign had an integrated marketing approach, combining the offline and online worlds

The campaign finale took place at Times Square in New York. They set up a pop up agency there, from which they designed the last ‘Daily Twist’, based on suggestions from fans. Earlier that morning, the brand had asked its Twitter followers and Facebook fans to offer ideas, which were going up live on a billboard. Creatives would select the best ones and three of them were then put to an online vote. The winning cookie, celebrating the anniversary of the first high five, was designed on the spot and was displayed on a big billboard.

A seamless flow between the online and offline worlds, and the mix of social and traditional marketing allowed for a greater experience and showed that Oreo mastered the integrated marketing approach.

It put the product in the center – without being self-centered

Oreo’s ability to put their product at the center of the campaign and still make the content relatable and entertaining for a massive range of users is (in our opinion) the most important factor in the success of the ‘Daily Twist’ campaign. The content was heavily branded, yet still relevant, timely and shareable – without ever begging for likes, comments and shares.

Lessons learned

The ‘Daily Twist’ campaign set an example of how important it is to create content that resonates with your audience. There are many ways to find out what moves your fans. For Lurpak®, we identified what kind of recipes the audience was searching for. As a result, we created content that we already knew people wanted to engage with. Read how we did it here.