Travel China with you: Lay’s builds giant Stax tubes inspired by regional landmarks

In late April, American crisps maker Lay’s announced a set of limited edition Stax tubes with graphics inspired by 7 regional landmarks from Shanxi, Hebei, Guizhou, Shaanxi, Jiangsu, Henan and Fujian, coinciding with this year’s May Day holiday.

At the same time, the brand also brought installations based on the limited edition crisps tubes to Xi’an, Shaanxi, Pingyao, Shanxi and Luoyang, Henan for travellers to “check-in” (打卡). Between 24 April and 31 May, Lay’s has also teamed up with Ctrip for an online event where you can join a prize draw to win a 10,000 RMB (1,384.07 USD) trip by posting your photo with the new crisps under the hashtag “Lay’s travels to China with you” (#乐事陪你游华夏#).

On Weibo, China’s Twitter equivalent, the topic “Lay’s travels to China with you amassed a whopping 250 million views since its launch on 27 April. The surge in popularity is a combination of the star power from brand ambassador Adam Fan Chengcheng, travel influencers and users participating in the online event by holding the crisps tubes on their travels at landmarks or tourist attractions.

This is the latest of Lay’s regional localisation efforts. The crisps giant has been regularly releasing new flavours, from Beijing brass hot pot to Zibo barbeque, all of which are limited to its represented regions. This caused a wave of netizens asking for “daigou” just to taste the flavours from outside their provinces. On 14 May, Lay’s released 5 of its latest flavours all at once, including the viral luosifen from Guangxi.

Most of the viral city marketing in the past year has started with a local delicacy. Lay’s has captured the attention of the internet with these exclusive flavours, not only making people from the represented regions feel noticed but also piquing the interest of gourmets all over the country. This can not only provide the desired “emotional value” to people who can access these limited flavours, but also earn the international brand more cultural credibility.


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