Cheetos Debuts 'Dumbest Use Of Smartest Tech'

The Challenge

There’s nothing quite like Cheetos snacks: orange, cheesy, enigmatically shaped. But even with a distinctive product and high-market share, Cheetos still faced (and faces) a challenge: staying relevant—especially when people are constantly looking for the next great snack. 

The Execution

Since for this campaign the brand didn’t have any product news, it wanted to make some news of its own. It decided to have some fun with technology, using it to cast its product in a whole new light. It created Cheetos Vision, the first AI-powered camera that turns everything it films into Cheetos snacks. It is, perhaps, the dumbest use of the world’s smartest tech. 

Cheetos Vision is not a photo filter. It creates a new image by using the technology involved in big concepts like “deep learning” and “convolutional neural networks.” Cheetos fed hundreds of thousands of photos into the AI mechanism and trained it to find within those photos Cheetos-snack-like shapes. 

After months of training, its AI camera could take any photo or video and instantly create out of it Cheetos-snack-like shapes. It wanted to give Cheetos Vision a launch worthy of any hot, new tech innovation, so it took it to the biggest stage in the industry: SXSW Interactive. 

It introduced its huge new tech product in the same way that a huge tech company would: It featured user-generated images on billboards and on social, complete with the cheekily recognizable tag, “Shot on Cheetos Vision.” 

The Results

  • Cheetos Vision made headlines from Fast Company to Forbes to The New York Times
  • Earned over 300 million media impressions.
  • Thousands of people downloaded the app.

Key Takeaways

Poke fun at yourself when it makes sense to do so.

When there’s no news about your brand, create some.

Introduce your new product in large and novel ways.

This won the Mobile Media category in MediaPost’s 2018 Creative Media Awards.

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