Lay’s Canada punked aspiring actors who auditioned for its Super Bowl commercial

NHL legend Mark Messier is the bearer of unexpected news in this hidden-camera experiment

Published On
Feb 14, 2024
A man and woman eating Lay’s chips as they wait to audition for an acting role

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“I’m here to audition ... for the Lay’s ... audition.”

Trying out for a role can be nerve-wracking. Scheduling a time to audition, having new headshots ready, updating your résumé, memorizing lines, and ultimately standing in front of a group of people who decide if you’re a good match for the role, if your skills are up to the part.

But what if the casting process is, let’s say, an illusion? That’s more or less what’s happening in Lay Canada’s “Casting Call,” where there’s more than meets the eye to the auditions.


The premise is an invitation to try out for Lay Canada’s Super Bowl ad. The bet is that Lay’s flavor varieties are so irresistible that people would not be able to curb their excitement and curiosity, driving them to try all the flavors while sitting in the waiting room for the audition.

The catch—any of the actors who try just one flavor can win a $1 million prize. And the twist? They are, in fact, in the middle of a commercial, being recorded through hidden cameras in the room.

And just as Lay’s expected, curiosity kills the cat—and in this case, the chance to win the prize—as the waiting room hopefuls reach into the bowls of chips displayed around the room, open new Lay’s bags, and some even reach for a bag of chips from a total stranger.

The 60-second campaign spot is part of Lay’s “Betcha Can’t Pick Just One” campaign, which debuted during the Canadian Super Bowl broadcast on Feb. 11. The Hank Perlman-directed spot was led by creative agency Rethink.

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“We were so excited to see the experiment play out in real life,” said Robbie Percy, creative director at Rethink. “We didn’t know how long it would take for people to try a few Lay’s flavors; but sure enough, it took mere minutes. Our insight ended up being really true.”

When the “contestants” are finally called into the audition room, they are surprised to find former professional ice hockey player and six-time Stanley cup winner Mark Messier waiting for them. Holding a bag of classic Lay’s, Messier playfully greets them and shares the news: “This is not an audition. This is the commercial.”

The hilarious responses from each person vary from shock to confusion to just bursting into a good ol’ curse and a quick nervous laugh, to which Messier ends the commercial with an offering: “Chip?”

“‘Betcha Can’t’ is a part of pop culture that’s quietly lingered for decades,” said Julian Morgan, head of strategy at Rethink Toronto. “We’re bringing it back in a fresh way that nods to nostalgia.”

The campaign is supported by media across television, social platforms including TikTok and digital channels. Following Super Bowl weekend, the campaign has expanded with placements on Reddit and IMDB. Additionally, to promote Lay’s newest permanent flavor, Sweet Chili Heat, additional physical visuals will be displayed.


Feb 14, 2024
Client :
Lay's Canada
Client :
Agency :
Global Chief Creative Officer :
Aaron Starkman
Chief Creative Officer :
Mike Dubrick
Group Creative Director :
Caroline Friesen
Group Creative Director :
Robbie Percy
Associate Creative Director & Copywriter :
Jordan Darnbrough
Associate Creative Director / Art Director :
Nick Noh
Senior Broadcast Producer :
Alex Butt
Chief Strategy Officer :
Sean McDonald
Head of Strategy :
Julian Morgan
Strategy Director :
Tanvi Swar
Group Business Lead :
Adam Ball
Group Account Director :
Danielle Bablich
Account Director :
Joanna Oszczak
Account Supervisor :
Monica Ha
French Creative Director :
Karine Doucet
French Producer :
Annick d’Auteuil
French Account Director :
Aicha Dallo
Production Company :
Hungry Man
Executive Producer :
Kim Dellara
Executive Producer :
Franchesca McDowell
Director :
Hank Perlman
Line Producer :
Matt O'Shea
Director of Photography :
Adam Beckman
Technical Expert Producer :
Jordan Cohen
Production Company :
Steam Films
Executive Producer :
Jill Brennan
Executive Producer :
Carling Acthim
Production Services :
Amy Prickett
Line Producer :
Rob Jacklin
Production Manager :
Petri Stepanoff
Production Coordinator :
Niva Chow
Editorial House :
Saints Editorial
Executive Producer :
Emily McKay
Editor :
Mark Paiva
Assistant Editor :
Nick Coleman
Post Production House :
Studio Feather
Executive Producer :
Emily Goldberg
Senior Producer :
Bronte Jovevski
Colorist :
Tricia Hagoriles
VFX Artist :
Julian Van Mil
Audio House :
OSO Audio
Executive Producer :
Hannah Graham
Senior Producer :
Lauren Dobbie
Engineer :
Harry Knazan
Engineer :
Daenen Bramberger
Chief Marketing Officer :
Jessica Spaulding
Senior Director Marketing :
Anya Schmidt
Senior Marketing Manager :
Michael Forsyth
Marketing Manager :
Mark Bradica
Client :
Anya Schmidt
Media :
PR :

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