Smile Deke Dekho

PepsiCo India

Brand | Influencer

Lay’s, one of the most iconic brands, had been going through a quiet period in terms of communication for a few years. The biggest challenge for the brand and PR team in India was the lack of novel and substantial agenda to talk about except a packaging change in 2019. The brand was introducing their Smile packaging to India and together we decided to make this the buzziest packaging launch in the country!


Get India to hold up a pack to their face to share a smile.

We had to ensure that we did not let a packaging change be just another visual on the shelves, but an action that we taught India to inculcate. From grocery stores to mountain tops, streets to living room, we taught our consumers to hold up a pack to their face to share a smile.

The goal was to change the brand attributes, improve the brand imagery scores by 5 percentage points (pp) and target a reach of 50 million with at least 60% organic influencer outreach, using them to spread the word.

The social media space today is extremely cluttered and busy with a multitude of influencers making it big every new day. So, the biggest challenge for the team was to generate organic buzz for the launch with an earned centric approach. In today’s world of completely paid influencer marketing, we knew that we needed a powerful money-can’t-buy idea to get earned social media posts from 1000+ influencers.


Lay’s brings a smile to one’s face. And smiles can lead to connections. Therefore, different flavors of Lay’s can lead to different smiles leading to different connections. Instead of announcing the new packaging, we brought it to life!  

Lay’s core target audience is between 18 to 24 years of age and the brand has always had a finger on the pulse of the youth. We knew that our young audience spends most of their time on social media, they follow trends & the influencers they trust, and they are sufferers of FOMO. So, using these insights we decided to create a campaign that was aimed at making Lay’s Smile packs the talk of town by flooding their walls with visuals of the packs.

The idea was simple: Set the trend with influencers flooding Instagram with posts and get India to follow.

We picked up six different smiles linked to flavor variants of Lay’s such as the ‘Joyful’ Magic Masala for the real and unfiltered moments, the ‘Calm’ Cream & Onion for cooling down tempers, the ‘Naughty’ Limon to let your friends know what’s in your heart without disclosing what’s on your mind and so on, and created customized Lay’s Smile packs for popular celebrities and influencers from across the country.  

The customization strategy instantly grabbed the attention of influencers, their followers and fans, as we created a delightful once-in-a lifetime ‘money-can’t-buy’ experience.  

We aimed to paint social media with images of people using the Lay’s Smile packs against their faces over the first three days of the campaign. We did this by creating a trend and playing on the FOMO psyche of our consumers. The campaign was kicked off by gifting these individually created personalized Lay’s Smile packs to 1,450+ influencers across the country. These packs featured the influencers’ smiling faces and compelled them to post! After all, who could resist showing off that they were chosen to receive their personal pack of Lay’s! 


With a campaign launched strategically on World Smile Day, we ‘influenced’ the nation to share their version of Lay’s Smile Deke Dekho on Instagram with a simple brief - “Pick Up The Pack. Pose. Post”!  

We collected pictures of influencers across the country and shared personalized Lay’s Smile packs with them. With these bespoke designed packs, influencers could not resist sharing the pictures of their Lay’s packs featuring their smiles with the world. With smartly timed deliveries, we ensured that Instagram was painted with one visual - People posing with Lay’s Smile packs on their faces over a three-day period to create maximum impact. 

We brought in a mix of celebrities, cricketers and influencers, such as TV duo Erica Fernandes and Parth Samthaan, Instagram star Jannat Zubair, and leading content creators Kusha Kapila and Shivesh Bhatia, to get the ball rolling with #SmileDekeDekho movement and compelled those who received their personalized pack to post. A press note was designed for the entertainment media that helped drive a wave of earned conversations, resulting in multiple pickups by popular online entertainment portals like Telly Chakkar and Desi Martini. The visual of the two celebrities was pushed out heavily across their fan pages on social media for additional organic visibility. 


Just with a packaging change and a limited budget, we succeeded in changing brand attributes, making a huge splash of smiles on social media, and even managed to make its place in pop culture. We painted Instagram with one visual on the first three days of the launch; people posed with Lay’s Smile packs on their faces, sharing an outpour of anecdotes. The campaign’s success was further validated by organic conversions of leading celebrities and influencers posting, along with a plethora of user generated content (UGC). And what India saw was almost an Instagram roadblock with over:

  • 2500+ Features
  • 90%+ organic posts
  • 10+ daily user generated posts even into the 12th week of campaign

The internet was set ablaze with smiles, connections and conversations with the new Lay’s Smile packs and the format gained popularity and sparked of memes. With several influencers posting and tagging their friends to share more smiles, the entire country took to social media to create a Lay’s #SmileDekeDekho movement.

The campaign also improved brand’s imagery (Source: PepsiCo’s Quarterly Consumer Study Kantar):

  • Attractive Packaging (+7 percentage points (pp) vs. H1’19)
  • Youth (+13pp vs. H1’19)
  • Trendsetting (+6pp vs. H1’19)
  • Brand Distinction grew by +2pp
  • Brand recorded the highest Equity Score since 2014