Business Insider interviewed Frito-Lay North America SVP and CMO Ann Mukherjee and, besides managing to misspell the executive’s name, elicited the typical client mumbo-jumbo. “I think what people want are brand experiences,” said Mukherjee. “I think the days of traditional mass marketing are kind of over.” Okey-doke. Except Frito-Lay is literally stuck—thanks in part to Corporate Cultural Collusion—with AORs that are completely rooted in traditional mass marketing. Plus, the current Lay’s Potato Chips commercial featuring a retro Al Green tune is about as traditional as it gets. “The ability to leverage the scale of our company and make it flexible. Our ability to then translate that to local substance. That’s our secret,” explained Mukherjee. “A potato chip is a potato chip globally, but the flavor, we lift and shift flavors all the time.” Wow. A free bag of Doritos goes to anyone who can translate the executive’s gobbledygook into common sense English. The truth is, Frito-Lay constantly lifts and shifts flavors like it lifts and shifts advertising agencies—and the snack company ultimately serves up the same stale shit all the time.
FRITO-LAY CMO: The Days Of Traditional Mass Marketing Are Over
By Kim Bhasin
The marketing world is changing. Marketers have more channels than ever to get their message across, but not everyone out there is doing it right.
We spoke with Ann Muhkerjee, SVP and CMO of Frito-Lay North America, about where marketing is going as technology and consumers change.
“I think what people want are brand experiences,” says Muhkerjee. “I think the days of traditional mass marketing are kind of over.”
Companies, especially those promoting big brands, can’t settle on launching a national ad campaign that consists of a bunch of billboards and television commercials. They have to hit many platforms, and they have to connect them.
“[Marketing] has to be a conduit into the multi-screen world that everyone’s living in,” she says. “How do you connect TV to social to mobile to apps to outdoor? How do you create a two-way conversation?”
Take pop-up stores, for example. Muhkerjee considers them a way to provide customers something to “engage and play” with. That’s why it opened a pop-up store in Times Square to promote the million-dollar Lay’s flavor creation contest.
There’s a trap that marketers may fall into though, says Muhkerjee. People are always trying to simplify things into a formula, but that’s just not possible. Every brand should have a different strategy, because every brand is unique.
How do they do this at Frito-Lay — a part of PepsiCo — a company that has a huge assortment of big-name brands?
Since Frito-Lay has the backing of a large multinational, and it can use its strengths (like global manufacturing and a big research budget) to capture local markets’ imagination fast.
“The ability to leverage the scale of our company and make it flexible,” says Muhkerjee. “Our ability to then translate that to local substance. That’s our secret. A potato chip is a potato chip globally, but the flavor, we lift and shift flavors all the time.”