As the saying goes, ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ - because we all have those days and moments when life tries to dull our shine. At LAY’S, life gave us potatoes, so we decided to make America’s favorite potato chip instead. LAY’S are tiny, tasty reminders to Stay Golden. To find little moments of joy in your day and to see things in a new, Golden light.
And if anyone knows what it means to Stay Golden, it’s the stars of BRAVO TV’s hit reality series THE REAL HOUSEWIVES. These remarkable women are no strangers to drama, yet they somehow always manage to weather the ups and downs of life in style. This is why LAY’S decided to partner with NBCU to develop “THE REAL HOUSEWIVES of LAY’S”, a phygital (physical + digital) activation centered around BravoCon (think Comic-Con but for reality TV fans!) and celebrating an all-star collection of Housewives who embody what it means to Stay Golden regardless of circumstance.
Our objectives for this partnership were two-fold:
- Drive at-scale earned media and get people talking about LAY’S (both physically, at BravoCon and digitally via social media) by tapping into the massive fandom surrounding The Real Housewives franchise
- Build consumer familiarity with our ‘Stay Golden’ brand positioning
The result? *Spoiler Alert*, our buzzworthy campaign was brought to life in a culturally relevant, over the top way. We had consumers saying “oh wow, Lay’s did that? That’s awesome.” and successfully blew our KPI’s out of the water.
With an iconic snack like LAY’S partnering with an iconic TV franchise like THE REAL HOUSWIVES, we knew that our activation needed to be nothing short of remarkable to deliver on the heightened expectations of fans.
Partnering with NBCU we focused on 3 key strategic pillars to deliver a fully integrated “phygital” campaign:
- Over-the-top Experiential (Physical): LAY’S brought its Stay Golden energy to life by creating a physical installation at BravoCon to delight attendees, replete with larger than life brand cues, custom swag and culinary delights inspired by 3 iconic Housewives – Melissa Gorga’s (Real Housewives of New Jersey) Sprinkle Cookies, Kyle Richards’ (Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) Party Splits and Dorinda Medley’s (Real Housewives of New York) Golden Lasagna. We even developed a trio of custom LAY’S inspired hand-crafted cocktails made with Potato Vodka poured on site as well as at six “Golden Hour” events we hosted for influential VIP’s.
- Talent Partnership (Physical + Digital): We partnered with 3 of the franchise’s most iconic REAL HOUSEWIVES who best embodied our Stay Golden positioning to fuel fan frenzy. Beyond creatively incorporating them into the visuals at our physical installation and leveraging some of their memorable TV moments to inspire our recipe creations, we also had them surprise fans in-person with “Eat and Greets” at our LAY’S Tasting Table at BravoCon. This worked fans up to a fever pitch of excitement, spilling over into online as they took to social in droves to share the action with followers. LAY’S continued to feed fan frenzy with four look-lives, and two celebrity panels, helping integrate our Stay Golden messaging throughout BravoCon programming. Complementing our on the ground physical presence, we amplified all the IRL activity nationwide on social, generating millions of impressions as this unique content organically went viral. We also had talent share both their own unique recipe-inspired creation and a pic of them at our installation to their personal Instagram accounts (in-feed + stories) to further digitally extend our campaign.
- Social Media Surround Sound (Digital): To amplify our physical BravoCon presence to the masses, we captured real-time content and live tweeted the most memorable moments. We also created one-of-a-kind custom REAL HOUSEWIVES OF LAY’S BravoCon party kits to drum up more online fan excitement and help consumers Stay Golden from the comfort of home. Each sparkly golden kit contained a custom designed bag of LAY’S chips and two cocktail glasses paired with one of our potato vodka craft cocktail recipes. The response from fans was nothing short of remarkable, with fans taking to popular social media sites to enter the giveaway in droves and share pics of the kits online once they were received.
Capitalizing on this cultural moment to create marketing magic took a lot of hard work, creativity, and coordination (both internally and with BRAVO TV / talent). Being a brand that consistently Stays Golden, however, our team rose to the occasion to deliver results.
The REAL HOUSEWIVES OF LAY’S partnership was not only highly entertaining for fans of the franchise and potato chip lovers alike, but it also drove tremendous results:
- 1.2+ billion impressions, inclusive of both social media and coverage by outlets including BravoTV and AdAge
- 81 thousand social media engagements on Twitter, with #RHOLays becoming a nationally trending hashtag over BravoCon weekend
- 7 tweets from the @Lays Twitter Account including Stay Golden visual cues and key messaging delivering 4.2 million social media impressions and with an average engagement rate of 1.4%, nearly 3,399 times the CPG average benchmark
- 4 Instagram posts/stories from participating talent generated 1.2 million social media impressions
- #1 brand SOV on the #BravoCon hashtag in social
- Approximately 15 thousand in-person visits to our Stay Golden branded physical onsite experiential activation at BravoCon, making us the #1 trafficked stop at the convention.
Fans ate it up and needless to say this partnership was a recipe for success in helping elevate LAY’S and its Stay Golden positioning in an authentic and credible way. We not only exceeded our objectives in terms of earned media generated, but the corresponding sentiment and resonance of Stay Golden was positively off the charts!
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