Case Study

Frito-Lay has been one of the biggest names in snack foods since Frito’s corn chips and Lay’s potato chips joined forces in 1961. With 50,000 employees spread across 29 individual brands, Frito-Lay is behind some of the most popular and high-quality salty snacks that exist today. In all, Frito-Lay controls 60% of the snack and chip market in the United States and also comprises the $18 billion convenient foods division of parent company PepsiCo, Inc.

Even though many Frito-Lay products are considered household essentials, retaining and reclaiming core consumers is a challenge for the company. Staying relevant to capture new audiences and keeping even the best-known names top of mind for consumers can be difficult, so Frito-Lay sets out to align with specific occasions to drive overall brand growth and increase household penetration.

In that spirit, Frito-Lay partnered with Tapjoy to immerse audiences in their 2021 holiday campaign, “Share More Joy.” The interactive in-app gaming experience was designed to drive awareness and engagement for the Frito-Lay family of salty snacks by celebrating the magic of the holidays through the eyes of a child.


Sales growth, 2x previous year


Point gain in ad awareness


Positive/neutral sentiment

4.8 million

Video views

Spreading the spirit of the season to flip holiday snack habits from sweet to salty

The magic of the holiday season makes it the largest macro snack occasion of the year. But research shows consumers most often associate holiday cheer with sweet snacks, not salty ones. Frito-Lay’s market share had under-indexed compared to the overall snack category in years past, so they went in search of a way to help consumers create positive holiday memories specifically around salty snacks that feature in the Frito-Lay portfolio.

In 2021, Frito-Lay partnered with Tapjoy to find a way to boost sales during the competitive holiday season and against the backdrop of a tradition of sweets. The goal was to leverage strategic and fun media placements that could break through the public consciousness, influencing consumer behavior to incorporate saltier snacks into their beloved holiday routines. It wasn’t enough to just garner impressions; Frito-Lay knew that actual engagement was needed to help consumers associate the salty snacks with the holiday season. To that end, they turned to a reliable partner: The mobile growth strategists at Tapjoy.

Interactive End Cards capture attention and engage audiences immediately

Frito-Lay teamed up with Tapjoy to design a campaign that would connect with a broad audience by reminding snack lovers of the childlike wonder of holidays gone by. Tapjoy’s creative team, The Interplay Studio™, developed original campaign creative around a snowball toss game, positioning Frito-Lay products as the spark of holiday joy and helping consumers build positive associations with their favorite Frito-Lay snacks.

The team opted to prioritize playability with Interactive End Card ads to spread holiday cheer that would resonate specifically with young adults. As they played, consumers were given the opportunity to learn more about Frito-Lay brands while also experiencing Frito-Lay’s partnership with Jimmy Fallon and Toys for Tots.

Because this was Frito-Lay’s second year partnering with Tapjoy on a holiday campaign, learnings from the 2020 campaign informed this year’s efforts. By focusing on Interactive End Cards, the 2021 campaign skipped any pre-roll video and cut straight to the chase, or in this case, the snowball fight. Opening on interactive gameplay was a powerful strategic way to engage users immediately, without risking losing their attention during a pre-game video.

Playable drives 13.4% sales growth and 24.1 point jump in ad awareness

With 4.8 million total video videos, the “Share More Joy” campaign pleased Frito-Lay stakeholders and Tapjoy’s efforts far surpassed their expectations. Frito-Lay saw 13.4% sales growth, which exceeded Frito-Lay’s goal of 5% and nearly doubled the growth seen from last year’s holiday push. The playable ad unit also had an impact on brand health metrics, with a 24.1 point gain in awareness. By incorporating the Jimmy Fallon partnership and philanthropic donations to Toys for Tots, “Share More Joy” earned lead story coverage in publications like PeopleToday, and Ad Age, garnering 99% positive or neutral sentiment from a broad consumer audience. At a time when consumers were being bombarded by holiday marketing campaigns, Frito-Lay’s message managed to stick in their minds — with a little help from the experts at Tapjoy.

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