Wasabi Wins Lay's Flavor Faceoff in Ad Age Office Poll

Mango Salsa Variety Does Not Do Us a Flavor

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There are a lot of half-baked theories out there about what digital and social media are doing to our society. "It's making us narcissistic!" some say. "It is making us lonelier!" cry some. "It is turning us into sexpots!" said that one guy that one time.

The Ad Age jury
The Ad Age jury

But one thing is clear: it is putting our snack foods to a vote, which is why, for the second year in a row, we are being asked to choose the newest flavor of Lay's potato chips.

The campaign, called "Do Us a Flavor," is back after bringing Cheesy Garlic Bread chips into the world last year. Lay's went through more than 14 million flavor submissions before settling on four finalists: Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese, Cappuccino, Wavy Mango Salsa and Kettle-Cooked Wasabi Ginger.

Voting will be live from July 28 through October 14 at DoUsaFlavor.com and across a variety of social media channels, including Vine, Instagram and Twitter. The person who submitted the winning flavor idea will win $1 million or 1% of the flavor's net sales through July 1, 2015.

So which flavor is going to win?

A very informal poll of Ad Age staff suggests that punters should put their chips on Wasabi. Everyone who voted in the office said it was their favorite. Alex Kantrowitz, our mobile reporter, liked the fact that it cleaned out his sinuses.

A majority of the office called the Bacon Mac & Cheese chips their second-favorite, even if this reporter thinks they taste like the end of self-esteem (or, at the very least, like they are way too salty).

The other two flavors seemed to have trouble getting traction with office taste buds. Some had trouble wrapping their heads around the concept of a coffee-flavored chip.

"Eww cappuccino?" Creativity editor Ann-Christine Diaz wrote.

"Chips shouldn't taste like mango," global editor Laurel Wentz agreed. "Or cappuccino."

One other key takeaway: the mango chips are disgusting. Seriously disgusting. Our video editor, Nathan Skid, likened the flavor to a Bath & Body Works aroma.

"I'd wash my mouth out with soap," reporter Malika Toure said, "but I feel like I already have."

We'll leave you with the take of Deputy Editor Judann Pollack: "I remember when chips tasted like potatoes."

A formal winner will be declared in the fall.

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