Lay's launches 'Happiness Exhibit' engagement campaign

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PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division is running a digital customer-engagement campaign to promote its potato chips. 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.

Advertising agency Juniper Park, media buying firm OMD and word-of-mouth agency Fanscape worked on the campaign. Flickr, iVillage and People are also partners.

The target audience is women age 35 to 45. Frito-Lay sees her as a “grounded optimist, she lives for simple moments and is engaged with family and friends online.”

“Happy moments in our life are the ones that surround us every day, and we are encouraging consumers to focus on the simple pleasures in life and share them with photos,” said Kate Garner, senior brand manager at Lay's. “The goal is to help elevate these simple, happy moments.”

The effort follows Lay's 2009 brand repositioning and the introduction of the tag line, “happiness is simple.” Lay's began the strategy during the recession, which Garner explained was a time when consumers were cutting back and reflecting on simple pleasures.

“Last year our focus was on ‘happiness is simple,' about the simple ingredients in the products,” she said. “This year we extended it to be more about the emotional connection for the brand with happiness in everyday experiences.”

Select photos will be featured on Lay's potato chip bags, as well as in commemorative ads of People. Consumers who upload pictures before March 31 can enter them for use in People's May 10 Mother's Day advertising spread. Photos for a special “American Summer” spread, running in the May 24 issue, can be uploaded between April 1 and April 18

To promote the effort, Frito-Lay is conducting search marketing and running banner ads on Hulu, Weather.com and iVillage. Visitors can also e-mail “Smile-O-Grams” to other consumers.

The company also hired street teams to hand out free bags of chips in New York on March 14, National Potato Chip Day.

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