Amplify Snack Brands caused a stir with its One Chip Challenge, which dared consumers to film themselves eating a giant tortilla chip made with the world’s hottest chili pepper, according to Food Business News.
The campaign saw Amplify's Carolina Reaper Madness Chips sell out in just 30 minutes online — and within days in stores — as consumers rushed to buy the $5 chips, which are individually packaged in coffin-shaped boxes. Amplify's website gained one billion impressions as a result, the company claimed.
“Spice is a real thing for people; there are these pepper heads that are all about spice and heat,” Pamela Finer, director of marketing at Amplify Snack Brands, told the business publication. “So we took these insights from consumers and thought of the idea collectively in a room together of, ‘What if we offered the hottest chip ever, and we only offered one?’
The One Chip Challenge has reached a level of success that most companies only dream of, and is just one example of Amplify Snack Brands taking current trends in new and unexpected directions. The company had conducted market research into millennial snacking behaviors, and found a strong trend for spice and heat. By packaging just one mega-spicy chip, the brand aimed to attract adventurous consumers who enjoyed the challenge of spicy peppers. The company also was smart to embrace social media, a tool popular among millennials, to create more attention for the product and the unique campaign.
The company has brought other trends into new areas too, such as looking at the demand for grass-fed beef and translating that into grass-fed whey protein for its Oatmega cookies. It has also recently launched SkinnyPop Popcorn Cakes — combining the clean eating image of rice cakes with the surging popularity of popcorn.
It seems the success of the One Chip Challenge — as well as its other brands — rests on encouraging creative minds to explore how far they can take a food trend, even if its in potentially wacky-sounding directions. Plenty of other brands have attempted unusual marketing campaigns, including an attack-of-the-giant-vegetables video game to get kids to eat their greens, Jelly Belly’s line of beer-flavored beans to appeal to men, and Watermelon Oreos. Some have been more successful than others.
What Amplify appears to have discovered is the key to a popular campaign is a combination of eye-catching absurdity with a solid understand of what makes consumers tick. Other brands seeking to differentiate from their competitors would be wise to apply this strategy to their own products.