Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo, is overhauling all of its calorie-conscious snacks to make them appeal to women, including the baked versions of Lay’s, Fritos, Ruffles, Doritos, Cheetos and Tostitos; Smartfood; Flat Earth; and its 100-calorie packages of snacks.

It has researched women’s feelings about snacking and guilt to produce new packaging, new flavors and a new ad campaign, all in an effort to get women to eat Frito-Lay snacks…

To figure out how to sell Frito’s salty snacks to women, Juniper Park, a BBDO agency within the Omnicom Group, turned to pop neurology.

Neurology used for advertising purposes, called neuromarketing, has gained a following among some marketers. Many use it to test their ads, using research firms like NeuroFocus or the EmSense Corporation to show an ad to consumers and see the level of brain response…

Especially interested by the guilt factor. Frito-Lay and Juniper Park asked about 100 women to keep journals about their lives for about two weeks. According to their logs, the women felt guilty about quite a lot, whether it was snacking, not seeing their children enough, or not spending enough time with their husbands.

Though Frito-Lay had often tried advertising snacks as guilt-free, this led to the conclusion that “we’re not going to alleviate her guilt,” Nykoliation said. “This is something in her life. So the question for us was, how do we not trip her guilt?”

She wants a reminder that she’s eating something better for her,” Jones said.

Since just under half of Baked Lay’s consumers are men — the single-serving sizes sell well at Subway — Frito-Lay did not want to make the packaging overly girly…

The accompanying advertising campaign, “Only in a Woman’s World,” has already begun running teaser spots. Frito-Lay will introduce television, print and online advertising in early March, and webisodes will begin running at, a site that Frito-Lay and Juniper Park created, on Sunday.

The campaign features four cartoon women who are “fab, funny, fearlessly female,” as the Web site puts it, who talk about exercising, eating and men — something of an animated “Sex and the City.” In a print ad for Frito-Lay, two women are surveying a Baked Lay’s bag. “These things are the best invention since the push-up bra,” one woman says. The other, admiring her bra-enhanced chest, responds, “I wouldn’t go that far.”

What part of most advertising isn’t insulting to human beings with a brain?

  1. keaneo says:

    Republican food.

  2. Stephanie says:

    Let’s capitalize on women’s guilt… sounds like a great idea! What happened to the good ol’ days of “mother’s little helper”? Valium sounds cheaper than all this neuro research! Just sprinkle some on the chips for a great time! =D

  3. Gary, the dangerous infidel says:

    When you realize how much psychological trickery is involved in marketing, it’s easy to see why we’ve developed such a consumer-driven economy.

    The 2nd-place theme was a little less subtle…
    Buy Fritos or we’ll be forced to starve a puppy.

  4. emily says:

    Flat Earth? In Texas that’s Christian Food.

  5. Randomized says:

    “By the way, if anyone here is in advertising or marketing, kill yourself.”

    “There is no rationalization for what you do, and you are satans little helpers ok. Kill yourself seriously. You’re the ruiner of all things good”

    Bill Hicks

  6. chuck says:

    I like the flying pig logo on the bag.
    But won’t that offend Muslims?

  7. Holy Canola says:

    High in fat and contains canadian oil.

  8. pfkad says:

    If they want women to eat more salty snacks, they should get them to drink more beer.

  9. OvenMaster says:

    I’ve seen that Flat Earth stuff in the organic section of the Stop & Shop. It’s obscenely expensive, something like $3 for a 6oz. bag. As a result, no one buys them.

    Hey, Frito-Lay! There’s a recession on, if you hadn’t noticed. Drop yer prices and maybe you’ll sell the products!

  10. Uncle Patso says:

    How cheap would this stuff be if they didn’t have to pay million$ for advertising studies (and for their incompetent executives, no doubt)?


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