PepsiCo India’s ‘Smile deke dekho’ Campaign: At a time, when every marketing campaign is time-bound and rolled out with an aim to drive return-on-investment (RoI), PepsiCo India’s ‘Smile deke dekho’ campaign, seems to be an odd case. A seminal campaign, it straddles two years, from a fiscal standpoint. “We started this campaign in this period, and we’re going to continue it into the first quarter of next year,” Dilen Gandhi, senior director and category head, foods, PepsiCo India, told BrandWagon Online.
The company claims that the idea stemmed from two consumer insights – the first one is that smile leads to connection, and smiling at each other allows one to build a connection. The second insight was that through consumer research, the brand found out that eating elevates mood. “The twist that we gave on it from a strategy point of view to use the flavours, which we believe is our strength. Hence, we used different flavours to project a different smile. Hence, every flavour of Lay’s projects a different smile, thereby creating different connections. That’s really the core of the idea,” Gandhi added.
In addition to the concept, as per the firm, packaging played a big role in amplifying the campaign, “So India’s Magic Masala is just like Indians, fully joyful, unfiltered. Then classic salted is a simple ‘Hello’. Spanish tomato Tango is flirty. Chile lemon is naughty. Hot and Sweet is a bit crazy,” he explained. Additionally, the chips brand roped in 750 influencers, in its efforts to amplify the campaign online. The company largely roped in food bloggers, travel bloggers and fashion bloggers, among others. “Within the first 72 hours, we had 80% of our posts. That created a massive ripple effect because the Instagram feed was viewed by all consumers. Also, consumers by then had started to upload their smile on the social media platform,” Gandhi noted. The food brand claims that within 48 hours it had clocked 175 million impressions.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first the potato chips brand has rolled out a campaign featuring consumers or celebrities. During 2012 ICC Cricket World Cup, the brand had rolled out, a range of flavours featuring cricketers. At the time, each package featured a cricketer who had created his own flavour. For Gandhi, if the company was to redo the campaign, it would draw more eyeballs now. “Social media makes it incomparable. At the time, being on the Lay’s packet was a big deal and still is. But social media amplifies it so much now,” he explained.
As for the current campaign, the company’s marketing budget is fairly skewed towards digital with it accounting for 30%-40% of the spend. Further, it has rolled out six-second commercials on YouTube. Besides, the remaining has been spent on TV, with HD channels being given importance in terms of preference.