Lay’s puts consumers in the spotlight in second ‘Everyday Smilers’ campaign

By Kristine Sherred contact

- Last updated on GMT

Lay's ran a similar campaign last year in support of Operation Smile, but this year will feature real people. Pic: Frito-Lay
Lay's ran a similar campaign last year in support of Operation Smile, but this year will feature real people. Pic: Frito-Lay

Related tags: Frito-lay, Pepsico, Potato chips, Promotion, Marketing, Consumer attitudes, charity, Advertising, brand loyalty

The PepsiCo-owned Frito-Lay brand is featuring 31 US consumers – many of whom work with advocacy groups or regularly volunteer in their communities – and their stories on its bags of ‘Smiles’ potato chips.

Customer feedback and successful social media interactions from the inaugural run in 2018 compelled Frito-Lay to bring the campaign back for a second year, however, this year, it features real people.

The company called for nominations on Facebook and scoured the news to locate "people spreading kindness in their communities,"​ Katie Ceclan, senior director of marketing at Frito-Lay North America, told BakeryandSnacks. The snack maker also enlisted the know-how of NowThis, a progressive media company, "to understand what stories were resonating with Americans​."

VP of marketing Sadira Furlow said fans shared an average of 700 daily smiles on social media during last year’s Smiles campaign, “revealing a tremendous opportunity for [the] bags to transform into storytellers, inspiring even more smiles with the great work of Operation Smile and ordinary people doing extraordinary things in their communities.”

Lay’s will again donate up to $1m to Operation Smile, a nonprofit that supports safe facial reconstruction surgeries for children in more than 80 countries – in addition to training local medical professionals and providing necessary equipment and supplies.

The 2018 partnership enraptured fans, Ceclan told us, especially a Facebook video of the Lay's team on the ground with Operation Smile in Colombia.

“The simple act of everyday smilers sharing their stories can have a big impact on our work to help children around the world,”​ said Kristie Magee Porcaro, senior VP of global philanthropy at Operation Smile, noting the campaign “[recognizes] the power that a single storyteller has to inspire others and help change the world.”​ 

Power of the people

Frito-Lay launched the limited edition bags last month with a New York City pop-up called Lay’s Smile Station, led by Derek Hough of ABC's 'Dancing with the Stars.'

“Kudos to Lay’s for recognizing that it’s the simple things in life that hold the most value,” ​said Hough.

“I’m honored to join Lay’s as they spread smiles on a global scale with Operation Smile, and then also at a community level with the Everyday Smilers who remind us that gestures big and small can create joy.”

Ashley C. from Texas, for example, started Sparkle Mental Health Connection, which connects people with mental health resources. Another lady, Collette D. ​from Boston, supports people with disabilities through her bakery, Colletty’s Cookies.

The bags also feature doctors who have worked with Operation Smile, a dentist who offers free screenings to elementary school students and an artist who design sneakers for kids in need, among others.

Consumers are also encouraged to share their own photographs on social media with the hashtag #SmilewithLays.

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