Lays: Sharing Stories and Spreading Smiles

    In an era where people are becoming increasingly health conscious by the day, Lays by PepsiCo continues to remain a household name in potato chips across the globe. Lays entered the Indian market in the year 1995 and over the years evolved into the leading snack and chips brand. Despite acquiring numerous competitors such as Uncle Chipps, Haldirams, Bingo and Parle, it continues to dominate the industry after all these years. Wonder what is the secret behind this continued success?

    You guessed it right- Lays’ unique marketing strategy and powerful story-telling.

    While Uncle Chipps relied on its iconic jingles and classic flavours to reach out to customers, Lays concentrated its efforts on market segmentation and careful positioning. It successfully studied the diversity in Indian topography and developed an understanding of the regional popularity of different flavours. Soon, it launched close to 7 flavours, one of which carried with it the essence of India- “Magic Masala”. Determined to deliver taste and texture that sets it apart, Lays built its campaign around this very idea- “No one can eat just one.”

    Having established its mark on the Indian map, Lays went on to focus on teenagers as the target group. With the introduction of collectibles, known as “Tazos”, Lays stormed its way into every child’s heart and managed to improve sales by 50%.

    This is just the beginning of their story. Their vision was to develop Lays into the world’s favourite snack- one that is accessible, one that can be enjoyed at any time of the day, and one that is needed to complete each occasion, from cricket matches and parties to theatres and stadiums.

    As a brand which identified with the youth, Lays designed its commercials in a manner which resonated with the “ongoing conversation”- be it cricket world cups, IPL, or an election. Not only did they ensure that the themes aligned with current affairs but also offered promising flavours and quality.

    At this juncture, Lays associated with famous celebrities like Saif Ali Khan and M.S. Dhoni to endorse its cause. They shifted focus to the celebration of a bond and the sharing of stories over food: “Pal Banaye Magical”.

    Lays also did not stay behind when it came to revamping its marketing game. In order to capture a larger customer base in today’s social media-led generation, Lays went an extra mile and introduced an out-of-the-box campaign: #SmileDekeDekho. The packaging now featured smiles of influencers from across the country, it no longer talked about the product benefits. The goal was now to weave a narrative around sharing smiles and connecting; an idea which got the users asking for their smiles on the Lays packages.

    Very recently, Lays was called out by competitors and consumers for being “more air and less chips”, but with its innovative marketing strategies, Lays continues to hold a large market share. From the outset, the brand made it clear that its focus was on building communities. It is beyond brand benefits. It is now a way of lifestyle.

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