The Common Uncommonly

All About Loyalty

So, What Do You Do?

In early 2010, I received an invitation to a Social Fresh conference in Nashville.  Curious, I scrolled through the list of speakers, digesting titles like:

  • Social Media Swami
  • WOM Inspiration Officer
  • Director of Zen Chaos

You can bet that a great deal of care went into crafting the titles above, for better or worse.   Choosing the right words can help set a tone: whether you are a Social Media Strategist or a Social Media Swami says a lot about you and the company you work for.

Which goes to show you that sometimes it’s not what you do, or how you do it, but how you talk about it that really matters.   

My kind of health food.

Which is why I want to salute Frito-Lay for their ingenious tagline.  No, I’m not talking about “betcha can’t eat just one”, that tribute to American obesity.  I mean this one, as found on a bag of Lay’s I saw last week:

We grow the best snacks on earth.

Now, that’s not what Lay’s really does.  What Lay’s really does is cut potatoes very thinly, deep fry them in oil, put salt on them, and sell them to people.  But we all know that, so we cut Lay’s a break and give them creative license.

What Lay’s has done with this statement is remarkable.  Let’s take it in three parts:

We Grow:

  • Not “we buy” or “we use”, but “we grow.”  In other words, Lay’s is the farmer and the farmer is Lay’s.  You can’t hate a farmer, can you?  That’s Un-American! 
  • What’s more natural than growing something?  It’s the quintessential natural thing to do.  Here, have a tomato, I grew it in my own backyard.

The Best Snacks:

  • Ambiguous enough to defy attempts to quantify it, hyperbolic enough to attract attention.
  • Let’s define the category: snacks.  They’re not trying to claim they are better than fresh produce.  And yet, what is a snack?  What isn’t a snack?  A snack is small enough to be harmless (it’s not a meal, for crying out loud) and is supposed to be enjoyable, an indulgence.

On Earth:

  • Go where you want, you won’t find a better snack.  In fact, don’t even bother trying.  Just give up and buy another bag of Lay’s.
  • Not “on the planet” or “in the world.” On earth. Very natural.

We Grow The Best Snacks On Earth.  Seven carefully thought out words that, together, make you feel pretty darn good about eating thinly sliced, deep fried, salted potatoes.

The last time someone asked you what you do, was your answer anywhere near as good?


Written by Tom Logue

April 21st, 2011 at 8:05 am

Posted in Branding,CPG,General

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