5 Tips for ‘Unignorable Creative’ from Pepsi #CZLTO

Great creative leads to brand equity, which leads to profits, according to Susan Irving, senior director of marketing for PepsiCo Canada’s Frito-Lay portfolio.

During the afternoon keynote at ClickZ Live Toronto, Irving shared five tips for how to achieve great creative:

1. Your Creative Should Be Rooted In Consumer Insight

In the brand’s long-standing “Crash the Super Bowl Contest,” consumers submit potential Doritos ads and then vote on which ones they think are best. The winning video is aired during the Super Bowl, earning its creator $1 million and a job with Universal Studios.

Basing your marketing on consumer insights means that your campaigns are more likely to be well-received. This year, “Middle Seat” was chosen by consumers, and the video has more than 2 million views on YouTube, a testament its popularity.

2. Your Creative Should Have a Clear, Simple Message

Last year, the American junior sledge hockey team, which offers ice hockey for people with disabilities, starred in a documentary by Gatorade. Because of the strong association between Gatorade and sports, it hammered home the point that the sports drink helps athletes win from within.

“Gatorade’s target is the athlete, not just the professionals, but anyone who has the love of a sport and understands what it’s like to set an objective and go for it,” Irving says. “We hardly spent anything on the campaign. It was just a magical spot that drove so many people [to the brand’s other channels]. It was a video people actually wanted to share with their friends and family.” 

3. Your Creative Should Be Tailored to Both Mass and One-on-One Audiences

Frito-Lay’s “Do Us A Flavour” campaign, in which consumers voted on a new flavor of snack chips, is a perfect example of toggling between blasting your message out to everyone and individual targeting. In previous years, fans have simply submitted their potential flavors via Facebook, but now that the contest is in its third year, the campaign has an added twist.

The brand teamed up with Facebook to make 500 unique videos that will pop up after consumers submit their entries, depending on the flavor combination each fan suggested. Rather than pressing submit and simply seeing, “Mike’s Flavor,” the videos personalize the experience a bit more.

4. Your Creative Should Be Authentic

Rebecca Marstaller, director of brand strategy at Lululemon, talked about authenticity during her ClickZ Live session. But while there is very much a “Lululemon customer,” can the same be said of Pepsi, which has more of a mass appeal? Yes, according to Irving, who says that different snacks have different target audiences.

“Doritos customers are more Millennials; Twistos is more of an adult, woman brand. You need to be authentic in terms of being true to that consumer,” Irving said. “If you stand for everything, you’re not going to connect with anyone. If you’re trying to target everyone and boil the ocean to have everything in there, you’re never going to get to that Gatorade spot.”

5. Your Creative Should Be Planned Without Maxing Your Budget

If you plan out all your creative too far in advance, you should make sure you have some money left over for any spontaneous campaigns around unforeseen trends. Seeing that dads and dogs were common themes during the Super Bowl ads, Doritos had a tongue-in-cheek ad ready to go the next morning that centered on a French bulldog being reunited with his son. The ad was funny, and as a result, Doritos generated more post-Super Bowl buzz than it would have otherwise. Just in case Victoria’s Secret ended up trending, the brand also shot an ad featuring a man in angel wings diving into a pool of Doritos.

“With digital, you need to be a part of the here and the now. [“Puppy Dad”] is a good example of watching what’s going to trend and figuring out how you’re going to act so you can be a part of the story,” Irving says. “PR used to be about talking to the right people, but it’s a totally different world now and digital is driving that.”


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