Lay’s Crunchy Sounds Challenge

Potato chips are largely an impulse buy, driven by in-store aisle promotions. However, as e-commerce platforms and logistical/distribution infrastructure have rapidly expanded and improved across China, far less consumers are visiting grocery stores.

Objectives/ Challenge
Drive impulse purchases of Lay’s in the current era of e-commerce.

Cravings drive impulse buys. By using mouth-watering visuals and aromas, brands are able to activate consumers’ cravings. For potato chips, however, the most potent sensory signal is actually sound – the cracking, crunching and munching of crispy potato chips. Hearing others munching away at a bag of potato chips makes you want some too – the instant cravings and FOMO are real.

Creative Idea and Strategy
Lay’s needed to amplify this sound to its advantage. The challenge was determining how. Traditional media has been on the decline amongst young audiences as they move online to social media. However, social media in China has become increasingly cluttered as ad investments have ballooned (est. +36% in 2018 YOY | Source: Statistica). Standing out and becoming a hit on social has become increasingly difficult in China. Lay’s needed to activate this contagious chip sound in a louder, munchier and more memorable way.

It’s no surprise that humour is a big winner when it comes to a campaign going viral. Hence, Lay’s contexualised the sound of chips in funny and engaging contexts – essentially creating the auditory version of an infectious yawn.

We created our own comical Lay’s challenge on China’s top short-video platform: Douyin (TikTok) – the Nation’s fastest growing mobile app (+560M monthly average users in the last year; 272.4M users as of September 2018 | Source: iResearch). Taking advantage of the app’s latest feature, Lay’s created their very own Douyin Challenge: asking users to create a funny lip-sync clip using a crunchy pre-roll that highlighted the sound of Lay’s potato chips.

To set up the challenge, we enlisted top voice actor, Bian Jiang, to come up with a voice monologue that people could lip-sync to. This featured a hilarious script with crispy chip sounds built in.

To participate in the lip-sync, users need to create and act out their own interpretation of the audio script while biting into a bag of Lay’s potato chips, encouraging participants to buy a bag of Lay’s.

We invited top comedians, Papi Jiang and Jingting Bai, to create their own Douyin video as sample encouragement for fans. Twenty other key influencers were also enlisted to give their own take and spread the sound of Lay’s, igniting fans’ cravings nationwide and prompting them to join the challenge.

By tapping into the creative and humorous use of Lay’s potato chips, our Douyin video challenge went viral:

• More than 217,000 social videos were curated and posted on Douyin
o 482% higher than our historical benchmark
• Social video views reached 1.08 billion
o 433% higher than our benchmark
• Impressions hit 511 million
o 116% higher than our target
• Engagement (likes, comments and shares) totaled 42 million
• Search index peaked 4x higher during the campaign
• e-Commerce sales rose 17%
o 3x faster than all previous months in 2018

Awards & recognition
SmartiesX Global
SmartiesX Global Gold - Mobile Video
SmartiesX APAC
SmartiesX APAC Bronze - Mobile Video
Media360 Gold - TV Sponsorship
Festival of Media Global
Festival of Media Global Bronze - Best Use of Mobile
Campaign Digital Media Awards
Campaign Digital Media Awards Silver - Food & Beverage

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