Frito-Lay's $5 mil push powers up on Pokemon

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Frito-Lay will leverage the power of Pokemon to lure young consumers to its bigger-than-ever holiday displays come November.

Tying in with Nintendo of America, Frito is tripling spending against the holiday time frame with a Pokemon promotion. The estimated $5 million effort, centered around the giveaway of 60,000 new Nintendo Pokemon Gold or Silver Gameboy games, will come to life on packages of Lay's, Doritos, Cheetos, Cracker Jack and Planet Lunch brands as well as on retail displays and point-of-purchase materials.

"In the past, we've had minimal presence at retail over the holidays, but this year we wanted to become more relevant to consumers and our [retail] customers, and Pokemon is definitely a point of differentiation," said Lora DeVuono, VP-retail marketing at Frito-Lay.

LATIN AMERICAN SUCCESS

The promotion follows a successful Pokemon tie-in in Latin America that helped drive Frito-Lay's international volume 16%. Ms. DeVuono said Nintendo research shows the popularity of the franchise continues to build, with 80% of kids already aware of the newest Gold and Silver Pokemon games despite the fact that they won't be launched until late October.

The holiday effort kicks off in mid-November with packaging that features holiday bows, Pokemon lead character Pikachu and promotional "bursts" that tout opportunities to win a Gold or Silver Gameboy game.

To further build Frito-Lay's portfolio of holiday offerings, the snack marketer is for the first time developing a limited-edition Holiday Shapes version of Rold Gold, which features pretzels in shapes such as bells, stockings and trees.

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