Three of Walkers’ crisp classics are going head-to-head with three newer flavours for its ‘Choose Me or Lose Me’ campaign, and the brand wants Britons to vote on which stay or go. It’s tapping into people’s fear of losing what’s nostalgic to them – which is especially pertinent for a snack brand that’s a firm part of many childhoods. We explore the insights behind the campaign, and explore why sometimes it’s better for people feel outrage for a brand.
British snack brand Walkers is inviting Britons to vote for their favourite flavours – or risk losing them. The ‘Choose Me or Lose Me’ campaign will see three of its classic flavours (think Cheese and Onion or Salt and Vinegar) pitted against overseas flavours like Lime & Black Pepper, which is popular Down Under. In so doing, the brand is placing the future of key flavours in customers’ hands. “Our consumers feel passionately about their Walkers flavours,” says Thomas Barkholt, marketing director at PepsiCo. "We wanted to give them the opportunity to vote in regards to which flavours will be staying on shelves."
This infographic about crisps racked up over 1.5 million Twitter interactions
Adam Higgins | Twitter (2017) ©
Britons take crisps extremely seriously; in 2015, they were worth £1.34 billion in sales, even after two years of decline. And while healthier snacks like nuts and popcorn begin to eat into Walkers’ market, crisps have long been the nation's favourite – and a nostalgic one by default. A student’s recent ranking of British crisps on Twitter serves as testament to this; it racked up over 1.5 million interactions, most of which involved people expressing outrage over his poor choices.
Britain’s passion for a good crisp is something Walkers has long been aware of – back in 2009, it staged a similar competition, where people were invited to suggest a new flavour. But the brand's tactics have shifted; threatening to axe favourite flavours creates controversy, which can ultimately drive conversation. Indeed, brands like Protein World and Pepsi have seen spikes in sales and reputation respectively after sparking outrage online. Tapping into people's natural loss aversion could be the perfect way to reinvigorate the old favourites of the snack world.
Alex Rückheim is a Behavioural Analyst at Canvas8, which specialises in behavioural insights and consumer research. Having lived in nine countries, he holds a master’s degree in Strategic Marketing and is fascinated by cross-cultural shifts in consumer behaviour. He is also the founder of design-focused site GOODS WE LIKE.
Lore Oxford is cultural editor at Canvas8, which specialises in behavioural insights and consumer research. She previously ran her own science and technology publication and was a columnist for Dazed and Confused. When she’s not busy analysing human behaviour, she can be found defending anything from selfie culture to the Kardashians from contemporary culture snobs.
21 Aug 17
3 min read