On a flight last Thursday evening from London to Frankfurt, I discovered a mouth-watering on-pack promotion from Walkers Crisps, the UK potato crisp maker (or chips as we Yanks call ’em) who as far as I’m concerned put salt-and-vinegar chips on the map. In the spirit of brand-consumer collaboration, Walkers is inviting potato chip lovers to let their imaginations run wild and send in ideas for the next latest, greatest Walkers flavour. All entrees to the “Do us a flavour” contest also need to submit a picture showing the inspiration for the idea. TV advertising and a fun, edgy interactive website support the event.
Talking about consumers owning the brand, how’s this for a prize? The creator of the winning flavour will not only receive 50,000 pounds in cash but 1% of future sales of the line extension. Now that’s a reward in tune with a new age of collaboration that taps into the creativity and passion of brand lovers.
It’s disappointing that only a panel of Walkers-appointed judges will choose the winner, with apparently no participation from the community. And there’s no place on the site, as far as I can tell, for contestants to chat and debate on the merits of the various entrees. A “digg-it” kind of rating system would have been a great add-on, both to energize consumer engagement and for the judges to observe which flavours were rising to the top in the opinion of the community. A missed opportunity I think. But otherwise, a nice promotion.
Unfortunately, only residents of the UK and Ireland can participate, so I won’t be able to submit my stellar idea for “white sausage with pretzel and sweet mustard” chips. If anyone from the British Isles is reading this, feel free to steal the idea. (If you win, perhaps you’d be so nice as to cut me in on the profits.) Time is of the essence. The deadline is October 10th.