How Lay’s Smile Campaign was customized for each global market

Pepsico created an IP out of the Lay’s Smile Campaign by executing it in multiple global markets with tweaks that reflected the region’s culture.

Can a packet of chips make your life better? No! But can a packet of chips be your fix on a bad day and make you smile? Well, maybe! This is the ideology behind the ‘Smile’ campaign that Lay’s has been running globally for 5 years across nations.

The snack company has been publishing advertisements using this theme for 5 years, Thailand being the first back in 2015. While countries such as Pakistan, Egypt, and Indonesia fell in the same cinematic settings, other countries followed varied approaches.

The USA followed a mental health approach, whereas India followed the footsteps of branded content marketing through a song featuring Bollywood actors, Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor, followed by a massive influencer outreach campaign.

This isn’t the first time a brand has replicated a winning formula across markets. Prior to this Surf Excel India, created a Diwali campaign with a sketchboard similar to that of their Eid campaign for the Pakistan market.



Similarly, Coca Cola too has replicated its gripping storyline across the market. This includes the infamous lift ad where a waiter is accompanied by Deepika Padukone as they get stuck in an elevator. Whereas in the global markets the stars featured were Banky W.

Deepika Padukone

Banky W

Lay’s, has adapted the Smile campaign basic the political, cultural, and economic situation of the market. Thus there is the beauty of Bali in the Indonesian campaign and breaking stress and daily monotony in the Egyptian campaign. India, as we all know, was more celebrity & influencers focussed, given the charm that endorsements work in the market.

Take a look to understand how Lay’s Smile Campaign was customized for each market over the years, creating a strong marketing IP.


Lays roped in 750 influencers in India and launched a song produced by Sony Music India called ‘Smile Deke Dekho,’ starring brand ambassadors Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor. The first look of the films was revealed through a teaser on social media on the occasion of World Smile Day on October 2.


Lay’s “Pass A Smile” campaign was introduced in background of political volatility as a means to hapiness. It received wide acceptance by the masses when they started generating memes based on the packaging of the product. In fact, PepsiCo even gave out 1 lakh daily, for 50 days in 2016.

The United States Of America

Dancer, actor, and singer Derek Hough was signed for the campaign that aspired to celebrate everyday people sharing joy via a smile. The program benefitted the international medical charity, Operation Smile, with a donation of up to $1 million in proceeds.

It kickstarted in New York City with Hough, who was inviting fans to visit the Lay’s Smiles Station in Times Square. Visitors could take home their own limited-edition Lay’s Smiles bags and experience the contagious power of sharing a smile.


The marketers of Thailand were first in the race of introducing this campaign to celebrate Pepsi-Cola (Thai) Trading Company’s 20th anniversary. The goal was to encourage Thais to shine bright with a smile, as an aftereffect of having Lays. The campaign featured 27 different designs.

Also Read: World Qtiyapa Day: How TVF’s content IP created an organic reach of 20mn


Chipsy with a campaign similar to Pakistan’s had a cinematic tonality using a vibrant and uplifting color palette. It aims to be a part of the movement that aspires to liberate the people with the thought of adding playfulness as a flavor to life, can make it interesting.


As an adaptation to the 2016 Lunar New Year, the year of the monkey, marketers launched the limited-edition packaging featuring half of the face of actor and singer Kris Wu. He is also the endorser of Lays in China

Sticking to the strategy of moment marketing, the design inspired by monkeys in the form of smiley cartoon designs aimed to target the millennials of the countries.


Crafted by Imagen Pictures, the advertisement had a storyboard on similar lines as Pakistan and Egypt. While the scenic beauty of Bali was portrayed, the campaign featured Millenials, the aged people, working-class, all in a vibrant setting. But one thing that remained the same was a smile. The people were shown in high spirits enjoying the playfulness of the product.


Lays aimed to give an essence of urban outlook yet stick to the local roots to persuade a middle-class customer. Now, “Crispy” also meant youthful and beautiful in Turkish slang. Thus, it seemed natural to localize the global “Make Life Flavorful” slogan to the “Life is Crispy with Lay’s” in the markets of Turkey. With three TV and six digital pieces. the brand aimed to engage consumers and make their favorable choice.


This campaign was introduced by marketers in the country as a social media contest on Facebook and Twitter in 2017. It required contestants to upload a ‘smile selfie’ and consumers would get 25 chances to win a prize ranging from daily $25 Cineplex gift cards to a GoPro camera on a weekly basis and a prize trip for four valued at $10,000. The contest lasted for roughly two months.