Mar 10, 2015

Sackfuls of credibility

The world of snacks is hard to imagine without one of its original founders, the small bag of potato crisps (or chips to the rest of the world). Pepsico’s Walkers (Lay’s to the rest of the world) is the Coca-Cola of snacks, aiming for ‘omnipresence’ and prepared to innovate in every channel to get it.

For people of my generation these sack cloth merchandisers evoke memories of buying potatoes in 56 pound sacks (as my parents did); but even for a fresh-faced teenager the associative power of this material with natural, freshly picked potatoes is inescapable.

Along with the key visual that shows the crisps as thin slices of a (British) potato, the story is clearly and expertly told. What’s really smart is that ‘naturalness’ is a value that connects to ‘healthy’ in our brain’s System 1 circuits, so Walkers are gaining a lot by association.

Interestingly this is a brand that hasn’t yet succumbed to the lure of matt foils, now becoming the norm in very many food categories. Cue the next story…