Flamin’ Hot® has been an icon of snack aisles and the internet for almost three decades but existed as a flavor, not a standalone brand. As tastes have turned to spicy flavors over the last few years, we knew now was the time to unleash the brand to the masses with our first-ever National brand campaign. The problem? We needed to do it in a way that would show our Gen Z superfans that we weren’t “selling out.” In other words, we needed to scale without losing our street cred.
In its first-ever National brand campaign, launched around Super Bowl LVI, Flamin’ Hot® needed to connect with its growing Gen-Z audience. Enter Megan Thee Stallion, rap megastar and Gen-Z icon. The only thing this Grammy-winning artist may love as much as her "Hottie" fanbase? Flamin’ Hot snacks.
To appeal to our Gen-Z audience, the Flamin’ Hot brand teamed up with Megan Thee Stallion, legendary producer Mike Dean, and record label 300 Entertainment to create her new full-length, commercially released song: “Flamin’ Hottie.”
A song this hot needed an even hotter debut; in a first-of-its-kind partnership with Snapchat, we used machine learning and AR to transform Flamin’ Hot snacks into an exclusive streaming platform to watch the music video. All fans had to do was open the app and scan their snacks to access it.
The song was released in the same way Megan drops any of her hits and quickly became news across mainstream media, social chatrooms, and blogs. We were confident we could further break through to the Gen Z audience based on two things: they would readily have Flamin’ Hot snacks on hand and have Snapchat downloaded on their phones.
Prior to launch, we partnered with Snapchat to create ads that hyped that something big was coming and that fans should be ready to go with a bag of Doritos® or Cheetos® Flamin’ Hot® — in the off chance that they didn’t already have them. From there, we had to quickly teach them how to use it. We developed a brief tutorial on how to use “Snackable Screens” and drove them to the experience.
Ultimately, the partnership between the Flamin’ Hot brand and Megan Thee Stallion generated unprecedented attention amongst our super fans. As of April 18th, 2022, “Flamin’ Hottie” had generated over 4 billion earned media impressions across relevant Gen Z publications such as Consequence of Sound and Seventeen. The Snackable Screens Snapchat partnership saw a high engagement rate, including 92.8K lens shares. It remains a popular song that’s still being downloaded and streamed by Gen Z fans across the globe.
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