Frito Lay Executive Success with Super Bowl

February 8th, 2017 – Catherine Hayes, the Executive Director of the Wharton Future of Advertising program is on the lovely campus of the University of Pennsylvania at the Wharton School with Jenny Rooney.  Jenny is the editor of the Forbes CMO Network and they are interviewing Jennifer Saenz Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Frito Lay North America.
Catherine Hayes:  Hi Jenny
Jenny Rooney:  Hi Catherine.  Thanks for having me.
Catherine Hayes:  I don’t know about you but I am doing a little bit of detox after the Super Bowl I give myself a complete pass as to what to eat so…
Jenny Rooney:  I say super bowl parties are like having a summer barbecue in January.
Catherine Hayes:  I sort of throw it all out the window in terms of and I go for the yummy food so this is a perfect next guest of her fact entree segue because we are having our Super Bowl Wednesday quarterbacking here and we’re very happy to have with us next Jennifer Saenz said she’s the vice president and chief marketing officer of Frito Lay North America welcome to the show Jennifer.
Jennifer Saenz:  Oh thank you so much really good to be here.
Catherine Hayes:  So, I’m going to have to work on this Jennifer or Jen.  So thank you. We’re really thrilled to have you.  What an amazing run Frito Lay has had over the years. Before we get started, can you remind us the listeners all of your brands so we know exactly which brands you are talking about?
Jennifer Saenz:  Absolutely so we have to all the brands that you’re familiar with on that salty snack isle.  all these things like Lays, Doritos, Cheetos, Ruffles, Fritos, Funyuns, you name it and it is probably made by us.  Things like Tostitoes and dips, which is the official chip of the N.F.L. which is very nice from a Super Bowl recap stand point.
Catherine Hayes:  Sure. All the toes, right? I love that, all the toes.  That perfect. That’s perfect and we just have to start by the fact that this is the first year that Doritos wasn’t in it.  So, can you give us a little bit of the back story. I mean, that’s a ten-year run of a marketer who completely revolutionized what user generated content was about and engagement of your fans and your consumers so I think I would really would love to hear sort of how that went and how the decision was to move on to something new and different for this year.
Jennifer Saenz:  Absolutely.  So you know Doritos had an awesome ten-year run like you mentioned.  We did a program for listeners that might not be as familiar that we called “Crash the Super Bowl” and it was really about how do we crowd source amazing content that we can play on the Super Bowl as a thirty-second spot really featuring the brand.  Since the inception of the program what we did is we tried to tap  into that amazing creator network that exists out in the world and just showcase the creative talent of everyday consumers in a Super Bowl environment.
But ten years ago when we put this program out there it was incredibly revolutionary on multiple fronts. One, just the boldness of committing to putting a consumer generated ad on the Super Bowl was really different at that point. The other thing about the Creator Network and how thats evolved over the years if you think back to where media was ten years ago views on You Tube were like 8 million a month and we have billions a day at this point so it’s just really dramatic. Really dramatic change in consumer behavior and how they engage with content so that evolution over time changed the landscape quite dramatically and really was a different use of the Super Bowl venue for us in general.
So what we’ve done with the Doritos brand is we have stayed true to that narrative of making sure consumers are helping us generate content but knowing that they are…and our consumer in particular is consuming content in a much more varied manner.  They want they really want to see always on they really want to see more of the day-to-day engagement not just these be statement pieces.  So we actually built a creater network over the years of running Crash the Super Bowl that we call Legion of the Bold and we’re really tapping into that group of folks to make some additional content for us that consumer generated content that speaks to consumers and we use that more on and on an everyday basis with our with our communication plan.
Jenny Rooney:  I think you went out on a high with Doritos. A great run but like you know it was still it was a phenomenal run.
Jennifer Saenz:  Absolutely. I think you’re, you know, I won’t be… I won’t be humble about it.  We are in the top five every year for ten years.
Jenny Rooney: Right, yeah.  I mean it’s crazy.
Jennifer Saenz: Yeah, I think it is such a can this been run of success in that venue that everyone would tell you from a marketing and advertising perspective is one of the highest bars to break through and get attention and consistently connect with consumers in a really positive way.
Catherine Hayes:  It really says a lot for you for your network and for the faith that you had and the very essential narrative that you were talking about that you saw the Creator in all of us and that is amazing.
Jennifer Saenz:  I think it is such a consistent run in that venue I think anyone would tell you from a marketing and advertising perspective is one of the highest bars to break through and get attention and consistently connect with consumers in a really positive way.
Catherine Hayes:  It really says a lot about your network and the Faith that you had in the very essential narrative that you had that you were talking about that you saw the creator in all of us
Yes.  And people really enjoy seeing that.  But I think the Creatorr in All of Us was part of the magic of that program but what was celebrated…the brief was always simple: Give us an ad it was basically a one line ad.  Give us an ad that showcases your love Doritos. And so it brought out so many brand truths. And it really cut through and spoke very directly to those lovers of Doritos.   We would celebrate the orange fingers that you get from the product.
Catherine Hayes:  We have no idea what you’re talking about as we laugh.
Jenny Rooney:  You kept it simple but broad enough to invite all kinds of different approaches I mean…that was the beauty of it so…
Catherine Hayes:  It’s so important what you’re saying. This notion of what they love about the product and you kept this question really simple. Right?  You have it very focused and it’s about people’s emotion it’s their heart it’s what they love about it and that’s so powerful and clearly that that came through for…and was that…did you know that from the beginning that was going to have as much staying power to really get to literally the heart of the matter?
Jennifer Saenz:  I mean I would love to say yes we could foresee into the future I mean the team at the time…incredibly brave to do that and also to stick with it the way that we did.  The first year that it was run there was incredible trepidation…you know that we’re taking a tremendous risk and it did take tremendous courage for that team to go out on a limb and do all of what they did and I would say that they were they did a spectacular job of really going out there and setting that first year I think…
We were kind of holding our breath…how is it going to go the first time around before we made a commitment to go in year over year once we saw the magic I think with everything that you do the first time through once you see that magic spark there is something that you say wow this is a big thing and I think what we create at Frito Lay across multiple marketing programs when we see that spark is what I like to refer to as a “dynasty programs” you know I think Crash was a dynasty program for us we just needed to give it a little bit of a twist a little bit of a refresh every single year but consumers are gravitating towards it because it has that spark.
On our Frito Lays business we have a program that I think is a dynasty program called “Do us a Flavor”.   We are in our fourth edition of “Do us a Flavor” and every year it gets bigger and bigger and consumer then gauge more and more with that so when you find that spark for a consumer we tried to make sure that we nurture it make sure that we keep it interesting make sure that we actually don’t try to over engineer at a marketing perspective and allow consumers to just be that thing that they love about it year in and year out we tend to get bored with our advertising way faster than our consumer does. And that’s really when we see these programs with a spark like Crash what we try to respect.
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