“Terra” potato chips, a popular Swiss brand, has gotten people talking about its latest flavor options. How? By having consumers come up with the new recipes themselves. But the real novelty is that the “inventors” of the winning flavors get a nice little
ZURICH -- The classic approach to advertising works more or less like this: any company interested in plugging a new product turns to an advertising agency, which makes a commercial that's shown over and over on TV and theoretically drives sales. This has been standard procedure for 50 years.
Now, however, companies are discovering new, Internet-driven promo options that take an interactive approach to marketing. But one such initiative in particular caught the attention of Tages-Anzeiger editors.
Switzerland's largest supermarket chain has for years been the exclusive retailer of "Terra" potato chips. The company that manufactures the chips, Bischofszell Nahrungsmittel, profiles their product against competing brands by having unusual flavors, like wasabi or thyme-and-lemon.
In the lead up to launching its latest flavors, rather than develop the flavors itself, the company decided to do something new. Under the heading "Have Fun Trying Out New Tastes," it listed 100 ingredients on its site, www.terrachips.com, and invited visitors to create whatever new combinations they could with them. Within a couple of weeks, the company had received 12,000 out of the 18 billion combos that are theoretically possible. Some were a little far out, such as strawberries with veal.
Users were then asked to vote on the 50 most appealing ideas – strawberry-ginger made the cut, for example – which the company then produced in small quantities.
In the next phase, the chips were tasted by a panel headed by a famous Swiss TV chef. The panel selected five flavors that were then presented to the public in branches of the Migros supermarket, exclusive retailers for the brand. Customers were asked to fill out ballots with the names of their two top choices.
This past weekend, the company made its much anticipated final announcement. And the winners are…"Sunny Forest," an onion, mushroom and bacon flavored option; and "Malaknesa," a pickle-and-dill melange.
This kind of "crowdsourcing" approach to advertising isn't completely original. What is different about Bischofszell Nahrungsmittel's Terra chip experiment, however, is that the "discoverers' of the two new chips recipes – Alexandra O. and Fabienne H. – will see a percentage of sales: 1% of turnover, which could work out to roughly $110,000 for each.
*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations