A marketing strategy that works as both entertainment and advertising is one that can be incredibly effective.
The first-ever Amazon Ads content-to-commerce custom activation with Tostitos during the 2022 holiday season represents the potential of strategic campaigns that leverage multiple Amazon touchpoints. This collaboration came to life across Amazon Freevee, a free ad-supported streaming service, as well as Amazon Fresh, Amazon Live and Fire TV, with the primary throughline being “America’s Test Kitchen: The Next Generation,” an Amazon Freevee original reality cooking competition series designed specifically for home cooks.
“We built a fully integrated campaign with Amazon to inspire consumers with new recipe ideas during the holidays, leveraging Amazon properties to create a seamless experience for consumers,” said Jenni Welsh, senior marketing director of PepsiCo. “We wanted to connect the dots from upper-funnel awareness media to lower-funnel tactics.”
According to a Kantar brand lift study conducted for the campaign, Tostitos’ Fire TV ads drove a 14% lift in awareness, while its Amazon Streaming TV ads drove a 12% awareness lift. Let’s take a closer look at why this activation was so successful, and how these best practices can help guide your future marketing campaigns.
Tapping into the moment
To better understand how millennial and adult Gen Z consumers are responding to current economic uncertainty, Amazon Ads and Kantar conducted a three-month-long study with 12,000 respondents. Overall, the study makes clear that people are thinking more about where they spend their hard-earned money. In particular, the study found that 50% of those surveyed said they’ve been spending more time cooking, with 48% reporting they now spend less on experiences like dining out and traveling.
With these shifting consumer behaviors top of mind, Tostitos anchored the campaign to relevant Amazon-exclusive premium content, a culinary-themed Amazon Freevee original. During commercial breaks, audiences were treated to a custom-produced vignette featuring the show’s judges testing an inventive Tostitos recipe. With an aim to inspire purchasing intent and conversion even further, audiences were presented with an interactive video ad overlay and Amazon Fresh custom landing page where viewers could find even more recipes and purchase Tostitos products.
Timing is everything
Tostitos are already a crowd favorite during the holidays, according to Welsh, so launching a custom activation during the final quarter of the year was a no-brainer. By taking advantage of the chip’s seasonal popularity, Tostitos wanted to show audiences that there’s more here than just party-time chips and dip.
“We know that after the holidays, consumers are inundated with leftovers, but may not want to eat the same meal for days on end,” Welsh said. “With that in mind, we wanted to help consumers reimagine what their leftovers could be. Tostitos is a versatile canvas—it has the ability to enhance any recipe, big or small, and create a new culinary experience.”
Beyond what was featured during the first four sponsored episodes of “America’s Test Kitchen: The Next Generation,” fans could also tune in to a special Amazon Live “companion” at-home cooking show that showcased additional recipes and enabled viewers to directly shop for the chips as they watched.
For our part, the Amazon Ads team was thrilled to bring these sustainable food practices to life because food waste is a worldwide problem that is not discussed enough. The USDA reports that food waste is estimated at between 30% and 40% of the food supply in the U.S. alone. What’s more, findings from our millennial and adult Gen Z survey with Kantar shows that one in three respondents are more willing to spend if a brand’s values align with their own, with 39% saying they would spend more if a brand practices sustainability and offers more sustainable goods or services.
Are you entertained?
When advertising can address an important issue, present a timely solution and entertain—it’s an across-the-board win. The Tostitos cross-property campaign enticed new customers with 54% of Tostitos sales in the Amazon store during the campaign coming from new-to-brand purchasers, according to advertiser provided data.
The custom activation even included rewarded ads that ran across Fire TV via Amazon’s Feature Rotator, in-line banners and screensavers, all of which compelled viewers to watch the vignette to earn credits for the Amazon store. By integrating this campaign’s intent across a variety of Amazon’s properties, Tostitos was able to organically build awareness and brand affinity, while also creating a seamless and engaging path to purchase for consumers.
“In bringing this campaign to life, it was important to the Tostitos brand that the execution was seasonally relevant, solved a real problem for consumers and leveraged the brand in an authentic and credible way,” Welsh said. “From the start, the collaboration came together as seamlessly as chips and queso.”