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Once you TikTok, you just can't stop: how We Are Social got GenZ into Pringles

We Are Social won ‘Best Use of TikTok’ at The Drum Awards for Social Media in 2021 for its #PlayWithPringles campaign. Here, the team behind the winning entry explains how the famous potato snack brought itself to a whole new generation.

Pringles has been a household name for many years. ‘Once You Pop You Just Can’t Stop’ is arguably one of the most iconic brand taglines of our time.

However, Gen Z were not connecting with the brand in the same way that generations before them had been doing. The brand knew that a TV ad and a tagline was no longer the way to capture this audience's attention - especially against the backdrop of Covid-19.

The brand wanted to establish themselves with the Gen Z audience and do it in an original and innovative way that embodied the brand’s playful nature. Pringles needed to find a new way of talking to this audience, in order to establish themselves a snack made for sharing.

Can we inspire Gen Z to see Pringles as a playful snack made for sharing? We dreamt of positioning Pringles as the next must have accessory for Gen Z’s social content. By tapping into consumer behavior on the fastest growing social platform out there TikTok, working with star influencers we created an irresistible challenge that urged our fans to #PlayWithPringles.

Why wouldn’t you want a bit of playful curiosity from Pringles in your life at a time of lockdown loneliness and boredom?

Traditional advertising simply wasn’t working with our Gen Z target audience, so we needed to switch up our marketing and speak to them in their language, on TikTok.

The start of the pandemic turbocharged TikTok’s growth amongst this audience - up 75% in 2020 (Forbes). We knew we had to move fast to make the most of this opportunity and engage our audience by utilizing an existing behavior while staying true to the brand.

We realized that we had something that many other brands didn’t have: a whole lot of fun, and an extremely iconic can. So, we wanted to position the Pringles can as a playful enabler in a time of boredom and loneliness. Something you just had to be seen with, something you can have fun with, and something you just have to share.

We created a TikTok challenge so simple and catchy that all you have to do is go grab a can of Pringles to do it for yourself.

#PlayWithPringles was a transformational TikTok challenge that got people out of their PJ’s and into their finest clothes in style. Simply jump into the Pringles can as one thing and jump out as another, set it to our custom track and you’re in.

50 key influencers throughout France, Germany, UK, Italy, Spain and Russia launched the #PlayWithPringles challenge. The campaign started in April (DE) and ended in November (Russia). We supported the campaign across Pringles’ European social channels and it continues to grow in terms of reach and views.

We set out to engage Gen Z and the results were unbelievable. We became the ultimate snack to be seen with, across multiple markets, thousands of living rooms and billions of phone screens among our target audience.

We set a fun and playful challenge and the community responded by creating an outstanding 2,025,154 videos on TikTok. Imagine, 2 million people buying a Pringles can, shooting their own content and then sharing it.

And the world took notice with 4.7 billion – yes billion – views of the #PlayWithPringles challenge.

Engagement was 30 times higher than the brand’s previous best performing promotion - our average engagement rate on TikTok has been 3% above benchmark. Brand lift studies in Italy saw ad recall at +15% and in France brand awareness went up 15%.

TikTok called it a best-in-class case study - “it generated an unstoppable creative force truly reserved for the most viral moments.”

This entry was a winner at The Drum Awards for Social Media. To find out more, including which competitions are currently open for entry, visit The Drum Awards website.

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