Lay’s lunchtime love affair

The PepsiCo brand is going after the lunch market with its multi-year campaign.

Someone has a crush on PepsiCo’s Lay’s brand: sandwiches. At least, that’s the story that the CPG company is trying to tell, creating a desire for more Lay’s occasions for Canada’s top chip crush.

In an effort to reach deeper into the lunch market, Lay’s, with media by OMD and creative from BBDO, is spinning a multi-year-long tale, making the case that chips and sandwiches should go hand in hand.

“We sell chips throughout the day, but a big piece of our business is lunchtime, especially with our quick service restaurants,” says Jason McDonell, VP marketing, PepsiCo. “We know people love to have a bit of crunch with their lunch, so to speak. And having a snack or accompaniment with their sandwich is something people are looking for.”

Originally launched in April last year, the second wave of commercials launched today.

The first batch focused on a lonely sandwich as it went through the motions of singledom (such as watching movies alone) and Lay’s, as its eventual soulmate, was only foreshadowed by a passing Lay’s truck cameo. During its April 2012 to January 2013 run, sale and social engagement increased (despite having little to no social media play). The second spot features the same sandwich daydreaming about its new crush – Lay’s chips.

“Phase one is where you realize something is missing in your life,” says Claudia Calderon, director of marketing, the occasion portfolio. “And as we go into year two, we’ve really taken that feeling into the next stage – where you start to long and daydream.”

The campaign targets all lunch-eating adults, with a sweet spot of 30-year-olds, and will be supported by in-store campaigns at grocery, convenience and gas stores, as well as QSRs. POS, by Mississauga-based Mark IV, picks up the creative from the TV ads, and will also live in bread aisles to help build the association, Calderon says. Sampling will be handled by Fleishman-Hillard.

Digitally, media will target mass sites, like YouTube, Google and MSN, but will also reach out to dating websites, which fits the campaign contextually, Calderon says. The digital buy will also be more focused between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., when people are most actively thinking about lunch.

The campaign isn’t solely pushing the Lay’s brand, she says, but rather is an attempt to build up the chips and sandwich pairing (a popular U.S. combination). “We’re using Lay’s because Lay’s is Canada’s favourite brand. It’s a gateway for the category, but that’s not the focus. It’s a different way to market, and it makes you think differently: How do you look at your business and resonate with an occasion rather than a brand?”

Though they remain mum on how many more years the program will run, McDonell says, “The love story can’t end at the dream,” with Calderon adding, “Relationships are complex.”