DALLAS Frito-Lay is setting its sights on building up Cheetos’ flat sales with a new focus on adults and Hispanics. The initiative includes boosting the brand’s ad spend by more than 50 percent.
Traditionally thought of as a children’s brand, consumer research has shown that more than 60 percent of Cheetos consumers were older than 18 years of age and that 43 percent of all childless households were consuming the brand’s products. In a bid to capture 18- to 49-year-old consumers, the PepsiCo subsidiary will beef up Cheetos’ presense on such networks as TBS, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim and other late night programming.
In the new TV campaign breaking January 14, the company reimagines the Chester Cheetah from the kid-focused campaigns as a devil on the shoulder of adults. Additionally, the spots promote OrangeUnderground.com, a showcase for video ads and links to Cheetos-themed videos from YouTube.
The company also is introducing two new limited-time-only flavors, released each quarter, beginning in February. One flavor, Double Cheese, targets the general market while Chili Limon targets Hispanic consumers. The new Hispanic-targeted offering, which plays to a spicier flavor palette, was designed to deepen the brand’s connection with the demographic. Chili Limon will be supported by Spanish-language radio and outdoor advertising campaigns.
The effort comes as sales of Cheetos grew only 2 percent to $405 million last year for the 52-week period ended Dec. 2, 2007, according to Information Resources, Inc.—a noticable contrast to growth for other Frito-Lay brands like Sun Chips (up 29 percent to $189 million).