Lay's is kicking off a nationwide experiential tour featuring the company's potato farmers.
The PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division brand is using a mobile greenhouse designed to bring a rural farm experience to city-based consumers. The six-city tour kicked off July 26 in New York City's Times Square. Other cities on the tour are Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas.
Visitors to the 70-foot-long, 10-foot-wide and 14-foot-high traveling greenhouse can see plants that result in the ingredients in the potato chips and meet a Lay's potato farmer. Interactive displays also are available. Consumers will find out about the tour via public relations, Facebook, Twitter and any local media coverage. The Lay's campaigns are supported by multiple agency partners: Juniper Park (advertising) OMD (media buying), The Marketing Arm (events) and Ketchum (public relations).
The tour is an extension of the ad campaign that launched last year featuring the farmers that grow potatoes for Lay's, says Linda Bethea, Lay's brand manager, potato chip portfolio.
"This is a natural extension of that campaign," Bethea tells Marketing Daily. "Instead of just telling our farmers' stories, we're actually bringing the farm to you." The farmers are really excited to be part of the marketing campaign, she adds. "They have such pride in what they do. For them to be able to go on the road and share that passion with people is just a wonderful thing."
Lay's will give away 8,000 basil plants to visitors, as well as take-home educational materials that provide tips and activities to inspire at-home gardening. At the end of each city stop, Lay's will donate all demonstration plants in the greenhouse to local community gardens.
The mobile tour will make stops in high-traffic areas in cities in each region of the country and ultimately will provide more than 50 potato, tomato, onion, pepper and basil plants to each of the non-profit groups that are creating and maintaining community gardens. The selected plants represent some of the ingredients used in six new regionally inspired Lay's potato chip flavors, including Garden Tomato & Basil, which will be available to try at each mobile farm stop.
More than 80 farms from 27 states across the country grow the potatoes that become Lay's potato chips, and in 2009 alone, the brand used more than 2.8 billion pounds of potatoes from these farmers. In addition, Lay's potato chips are made in 18 states at Frito-Lay facilities stretching from the East to West coasts, and Frito-Lay employs more than 45,000 people in all 50 states.
To extend beyond each local events, consumers can visit the company's Web site to use the Chip Tracker to trace where their bags of Lay's Classic Potato Chips were made (using a UPC code on each bag). Visitors to the Web site can also learn more about Lay's potato farms and farmers.