Lays’ World Cup Ad Scores for First-timers and Fans


FIFA Women's World Cup + Frito-Lay - Taste of Greatness


The Women’s World Cup has kicked off in Australia and brands are ready for it. With tournament audiences high so far there’s a feeling that this might be the latest of several huge moments for women’s soccer worldwide as the game keeps on growing. In the US, though, women’s soccer has been a big deal for a while – it helps when your national team is the most dominant in the sport’s history.

Even so, there are always new generations to introduce the game to. Lays’ “Taste of Greatness” uses a mother explaining the World Cup to her daughter as an opportunity to stage an animated tabletop match, where potato chips transform into past and present greats from Mia Hamm to Brandi Chastain – helpfully labeled for fellow newbies.

“Taste of Greatness” was made in-house and continues Lays’ recent trend of making masterbrand ads alongside individual commercials for Ruffles, Doritos, et al. It’s a tactic which can confuse viewers when it comes to brand attribution, but these masterbrand ads tend to perform well emotionally, getting audiences excited for snacking in general rather than asking them to think about a specific brand.

This masterbrand strategy is well-suited to parties and big occasions, when you’re likely to see different chips on offer, so it works well for the World Cup. There’s humor too, from the initially cynical daughter and then the clueless dad walking in on the game late. It’s an ad with a lot of nice details and plenty of human connection to get that right-brained attention.

The ad scores 3.7-Stars on Test Your Ad, a good performance even if it falls short of the top Lays masterbrand ads. We also tested the ad among a sample of soccer fans to coincide with our sport sponsorship research with Fuse, The Sport Dividend. The ad will air during the World Cup, so it makes sense to see if fans of the sport feel any differently about it.

Some sports ads transform from minor league hitters to world series winners when shown to fans. But that’s not really what’s happening here – “Taste of Greatness” nets only a small uplift among soccer fans, though it’s enough to push it into 4-Star territory in that segment. It lands with them at 4.3, with greater happiness at the spotlight on women’s soccer, but all the same key associations as the general public.

It’s a good ad among either audience, and shows that Lays have made the right call positioning it as an introduction to the event, with highlights and surprises for the more hardcore fans. Women’s soccer is going from strength to strength globally, but the interest can’t yet be taken for granted by major brands, and Lays have walked the tightrope between fan and first-timer well.

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