“People have a peculiar pleasure in making converts, that is, in causing others to enjoy what they enjoy, thus finding their own likeness represented and reflected back to them“. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832) German poet, novelist and dramatist.
Social media is definitely the power tool helping people reach their goals in making those converts!
In the case of brand marketing and positioning, there is mainly one winner in this human persuasion and social media equation: brands! Brands highly benefit from the need of people to share what they like and what they enjoy. Consequently, the overall effort of brands to appeal to their consumers and attract potential customers slowly decreases: yes, we are doing most of the work!
Therefore, I decided to try and separate social media users’ efforts from brand efforts and compare similar brands in terms of the amount of effort and resources they are REALLY investing in order to deserve the exposure they are getting!
For my first two brands, I chose Pringles vs. Lay’s.
I’m sure you all know this brand! It is a brand of potato snacks produced by Procter & Gamble and sold in over 100 countries and have yearly sales of over US$1 billion.
In a nutshell, the Pringles people understand the value and importance of social media and realize how to use it to their advantage!
Pringles: So, how are they utilizing social media?
In 2009, Pringles launched a “Shaped for Nothing Else” Campaign. Although it had cool images, it was heavily criticized by its target audience for the message it conveyed, “Is shape a reason to buy food?” they exclaimed.
Another campaign Pringles carried out was Twitter’s “The Overshares” campaign, which was also heavily attacked by the public: “it’s annoyance at dull updates on Facebook, irrelevant Tweets and people sharing things that are ‘totally ridiculous’ online“.
Pringles shows inconsistency in their campaign efforts. After I found the new Pringles Multigrain product page, I looked all over for a campaign to promote it, but there was none! If you take me as an example, I am more interested in knowing more about a product such as this one, just like many health conscious people out there I’m sure.
Why are they inconsistent? I guess their complacency plays a big role in that!
However, this also applies to one of Pringles’ competitors: Lay’s!
Lay’s, another lovable brand! Lay’s is the brand name for a number of potato chip varieties as well as the name of the company that founded the chip brand in 1932. Lay’s chips are marketed as a division of Frito-Lay, a company owned by PepsiCo Inc. since 1965. Other brands in the Frito-Lay group include Fritos, Doritos, Ruffles, Cheetos, Rold Gold pretzels, and Sun Chips.
With a fun and colorful website and a Facebook Fanpage gathering more than 1,000,000 fans, Lay’s too seems to have a thing for social media.
Lay’s: So, how are they utilizing social media?
Frito-Lay is one of several big companies that, along with some large-scale farming concerns, are embracing a broad interpretation of what eating locally means. This mission creep has the original locavores choking on their yerba mate. But food executives who measure marketing budgets in the millions say they are mining the concept because consumers care more than ever about where their food comes from.
Therefore, the creative agency, Juniper Park, launched a US nationwide campaign to promote the locality of Lay’s potato chips with a lifesize installation of potatoes hanging from the ceiling of the Chicago Jackson Tunnel: Potatoes on the ceiling, WOW – “Our potatoes are grown closer than you may think”!
The ceiling display is at least 8 feet long, with faux cracks shooting out on either side of the real-dirt patch, as if the potato roots had caused the ceiling to crack as they grew through. The potatoes are arranged in bunches of about five, and there are more than a dozen bunches clustered among dangling roots.
Another fairly new campaign for Lay’s is one which was launched by the same ad agency on March, 2010: “Happiness Exhibit” engagement campaign. The “Happiness Exhibit” effort, which began March 15, encourages consumers to share photos of happy moments. The images will become part of a growing online photo montage.
The effort follows Lay’s 2009 brand repositioning and the introduction of the tag line, “happiness is simple,” an effort which I have never heard of before through my daily and extensive internet research!
It ends there for Lay’s as well – no other outstanding campaigns to capture the eye and alter the taste buds!
To Wrap Up:
What do you think is going wrong here: Why don’t Pringles and Lay’s utilize their great presence on social media to create and launch louder, bigger and more attractive campaigns that are able to change brand loyalty? Do you believe they are satisfied with their current market shares to the extent that they don’t think they need any more?
Looking forward to your comments down below…