The Walkers snack brand, part of the PepsiCo portfolio that is marketed as Lays in other markets, has a long record of successful advertising in the UK.
By 2008, it had decided it was dissatisfied with being good; it wanted to be great.
Its research told it that UK consumers were still fond of the brand, but almost over-familiar with it. The company and its agency, AMV BBDO, needed ways to keep its appeal fresh.
In a series of campaigns (described in the video below), the brand moved its communication model towards one that encouraged a mass market to participate with the brand by getting them to suggest and vote for new flavours, using comedians and other celebrities to encourage people to buy Walkers at lunch, prompting weather-obsessed Britons to bet on the chances of rain and other games-based initiatives.
(The team behind Walkers award-winning advertising discuss their approach).
These campaigns used a variety of conventional TV and print advertising with social media activities, PR and instore promotion to drive interest and involvement and keep the brand "buzzy".
The total effect of the campaigns was to create more than 10m view of the campaigns' online destinations (typically a site, micro-site or branded social media page).
In a detailed case study, published on the IPA website, the team behind the advertising have calculated the benefits created by the campaigns using several different metrics. In terms of headline results, they estimate that across all six campaigns run by Walkers, the return on investment from the television element alone was 42 per cent higher than that for campaigns by Walkers in the years before this period.
Award: 2012 Gold IPA Effectiveness Award
Company: PepsiCo UK
Agencies: AMV BBDO, Ninah Consulting, Millward Brown, OMD, Freud
Country of origin: UK