But while fans waited on Facebook, TV viewers got the scoop
earlier today. A trio of finalists appeared on "Good Morning
America," plugging their flavors: Chicken & Waffles, Cheesy
Garlic Bread and Sriracha, according to this ABC News blog post.
The lack in coordinated planning has many fans on Facebook --
where Lay's has 5.89 million likes on its official page, many of
them which have submitted potential flavors for the contest --
Said one: "Someone tell me why a big corp like Lay's would allow
their social media to be behind the news!? And sadly there are
still people on here that think they may be the winners! Think
Lay's needs to fix this."
Another fan grumbled: "what the????????// Does Lay's even read
our comments. It [keeps on] posting days while people are confused
about the 3 winning flavors. Is this is how Lay's treats their
fans!" A third fan wanted action: "You should fire your social
In other words, old media beat new media to the news.
Asked why the Facebook page was not synced with the TV reveal, a
spokeswoman told Ad Age in an email that "our official announcement
takes place tomorrow morning, which is why the Facebook page
encourages consumers to stay tuned for Tuesday."
Unless, of course, they simply read some of the comments on the
brand's own Facebook page that link to stories across the web
referencing the "Good Morning America" reveal.
The three finalists' flavors will hit stores soon for a limited
time, with fans choosing a winning flavor that will be revealed in
May. The prize is $1 million, or 1% of the 2013 net sales of the
winning flavor, whichever is greatest.
Lay's, which bills itself as the world's largest food brand, has
already held the contest in several markets overseas in recent
years. As Ad Age reported a few months
ago, China saw a big launch with the introduction of
"Pepsi-Cola Chicken" flavor chips, mimicking a popular Chinese
dish. It was a much bigger launch than for any previous Lay's
flavor in China, which include such unusual flavors as lemon tea
(subtle), cucumber (cloying) and hot-and-sour fish soup (fishy).
The TV ad campaign for the Pepsi Cola-Chicken chips played a joke
on viewers, starting out like a Pepsi ad, with a guy rushing out to
buy cola for his girlfriend -- not to drink, it turned out, but to
use to cook chicken.
Here's a sampling of what won elsewhere (for a full list,
Australia: Aline's Caesar Salad
India: Mastana Mango
Poland: Kabanostrrre (spicy sausage)
Saudi Arabia: Pizza
Serbia: Rebrasti (pickled cucumber)
Thailand: Hot & Spicy Crab