Fast Company

Frito-Lay to Canadians: Here Are Some Earplugs for Your Noisy SunChips

Frito-Lay may have discontinued its 100% compostable packaging for most of the SunChips line in the U.S. (it was deemed too noisy by consumers, and sales plummeted). But the drama continues in Canada, where Frito-Lay has decided to keep the ultra-loud packaging--and to offer customers free earplugs to drown it out.

The offer, which can be found on the SunChips Canada Facebook page, implores customers to check out the noisy bags. If they deem it too loud for comfort, Frito-Lay asks them to send a letter explaining why they're "happy to be making some noise about helping the environment".

It's a neat bit of marketing judo to address SunChips's image problem -- take the problem and turn it into an amusing headline. (The company may hae been inspired by a Facebook group called "Sorry But I Can't Hear You Over This SunChips Bag," which now has more than 52,000 friends). So did Frito-Lay give up on its product too soon south of the Canadian border? Americans may well have appreciated the cheeky earplug offer--and the company's willingness to stand by an admirable product.

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  • Rob Day

    This is awesome to see! A friend of mine posted the breaking story of the US pulling the bags because they were loud, and I went into a tirade about what terrible marketing that is. Frito-Lay had an amazing opportunity in front of them and instead chose to turn tail and run. I can't believe I am saying this, but thanks Canada for having the wit and guts.

    Below is my exact post from the beginning of October. Apparently they went with a different tag line, but I feel they listened :)

    "Weak... what could they do? They could have some balls, hire some smart marketers and turn this on its head.

    Example - miracle whip was sucking wind. Hired marketers who launched a campaign UNIVERSALLY reviled. Instead of turning tail they spun it around and brought it to near parody level including buying spots on every break of the Colbert Report specifically calling him out for calling their ad out, along with an open letter in the NY Times to the same effect. Results - Wide spread publicity and impressive sales increase.

    Can you imagine a fun, sort of sarcastic campaign where thousands of people were "making noise to save the world" and intentionally flaunting the loud bags as a symbol of doing good? They would easily build a group of loyal followers and make those youtubers look like jerks in the most professional way possible."