- Presented by Frito-Lay

How Frito-Lay Develops Breakthrough Campaigns From Within

Highlights from the 2023 Clio Sports Marketing Summit

Where you have sports, you have snacks, and Frito-Lay has come up with creative ways to play up the connection between the two in its advertising.

Two executives from the company—Tina Mahal, senior vice president of brand marketing at PepsiCo Foods North America, and Chris Bellinger, vice president of creative and digital at PepsiCo Foods North America—dove into the making of and the strategic thinking behind some of Frito-Lay's award-winning, sports-centric snack campaigns at State of Play: the 2023 Clio Sports Marketing Summit in NYC.

The discussion kicked off with the 2021 Clio Sports Silver-winning long-form spot "'Twas the Night Before Super Bowl."

"This is when we really started doing portfolio programs. And for us, portfolio means multiple brands. So, where most campaigns you have a single brand with a single partner with a single message, we have to talk about multiple brands all at the same time," Mahal said, noting the challenge is figuring out how to weave a number of brands into one spot.

In this case, Frito-Lay started with this insight—the hours leading up to the big game are full of anticipation for fans.

To tap into that excitement and to remind fans to stock up on snacks for the big game, the Frito-Lay team created a narrative that finds a who's who roster of Super Bowl legends—Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Troy Aikman, Terry Bradshaw, Jerome Bettis and Deion Sanders—unable to sleep the night before Super Bowl LV because they just can't wait to watch the game. While making mischief all through the night, the guys eat a variety of Frito-Lay snacks, including Lay's and Doritos.

Marshawn Lynch narrated "'Twas the Night Before Super Bowl," and recruiting him was a major win. "Obviously, for those of you that are sports fans, you know Marshawn Lynch as the guy who never speaks. When we called him and said, we want you to be the voice of [our spot], he was like, 'Why?'" Bellinger recounted. "But then he really got into it, really wanted to perform."

Shifting away from football, talk turned to Frito-Lay's 130-year-old Cracker Jack brand, which has long been associated with baseball and the Sailor Jack mascot. Frito-Lay made history last spring by introducing the Cracker Jill mascot and celebrating women's accomplishments in sports via a spot called "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," featuring Normani's reimagined version of the iconic song.

This work was personal for Mahal. As a mother of two girls ages 10 and six, "I just loved working on this," she said, noting that sharing it with her daughters was meaningful because they agreed it was an important thing to do, and the spot showed them that maybe they, too, could excel in sports.

Another highlight from the panel: Frito-Lay scoring in the social media sphere by collaborating with @nba_paint, a Twitter account that makes basketball art. After seeing that NBA Paint had turned Celtics player Jayson Tatum into a potato-like character called Jason Potatum, Bellinger explained how Frito-Lay worked with NBA Paint and Tatum to create a custom Ruffles Jayson Potatum bag and chip.

"Jayson Potatum and NBA Paint ended up delivering billions of impressions, and a ton of online social engagement actually grew our social channels by 50 percent," according to Bellinger. "So, it was a really cool way to tap into the population, where people are, what they love, with a really random idea that was not a heavy lift."

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