Cheetos Stakes Claim To Launch Of Hands-Free Technology

After nearly 75 years of making fingers messy with orange dust, Cheetos wants to take credit for inspiring the birth of hands-free technology.

That’s the concept the Frito-Lay snack brand is floating in advance of its return to the South by Southwest (SXSW) confab, where it will host an experiential “fully hands-free house.”

The brand boasting begins in this spot from Goodby Silverstein & Partners with one of two Cheetos-eaters “inventing” automatic doors at a grocery store. Another orange-fingered snacker opts for a robotic vacuum cleaner (his dog hates it) over the traditional upright version, followed by a woman in a library with similarly stained digits unlocking her phone using facial recognition.

There’s also a self-driving car followed by the tagline “If it’s hands-free, it’s a Cheetos thing.”



The campaign messaging is also being communicated via out-of-home placements in tech-focused cities.

On March 12 in Austin, Cheetos will unveil a “Hands-Free House” during SXSW, the annual mashup of the technology, film and music industries.

As explained in this teaser video, the house will provide visitors with “a new take on modern living” encompassing things like touchless entry and voice-activated appliances.

Through March 15, visitors can continue the experience in the home’s backyard equipped with a hands-free Cheetos vending machine and other gadgets.

Cheetos made its first appearance at SXSW in 2018.

"When thinking about how to bring this campaign to life experientially, SXSW felt like the right place to do so since the Hands-Free House brings together hands-free technology and innovation, culture and food,” Stacy Taffet, senior vice president of marketing at Frito-Lay North America, tells Marketing Daily.

“The last two years, as we all know, SXSW has either been canceled or virtual due to the pandemic. Because of this, 2022 feels like the year to really go big and show up for our fans in person.”

The campaign is accompanied by giveaways that can be won by sharing tech favorites on Twitter with the hashtags #cheetoshandsfree and #entry.

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