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Beyond The Snack: The Story Behind Cheetos Museum

Jul 18, 2016

Cheetos MuseumHave you ever opened a bag of Cheetos to discover your delicious snack has an uncanny resemblance to a seahorse, giraffe or past president? This summer, the Cheetos brand has taken snacking to a whole new level with the introduction of Cheetos Museum, the official online museum celebrating all of the art to be found in a Cheetos bag.  Rob Zmitrewicz, Frito-Lay North America Marketing Manager of Cheetos, takes us behind the scenes of the Cheetos Museum summer program. 

What is it like collaborating with the Frito-Lay marketing team?  Anytime we launch a major program it is a highly collaborative process.  On Cheetos Museum, we worked closely with our agency to develop the look and feel for the program and with our communications team to develop a plan to introduce the program to our fans. With Cheetos Museum, all hands are on deck, which means working closely and seamlessly with several different groups throughout the company, each offering a unique expertise.

How does the Frito-Lay environment foster your creativity?  Marketing is a highly creative department and that comes to life in two ways.  First, we’re encouraged to do things that have never been done before.  Frito-Lay was a pioneer in inviting consumers to share their ideas – first with Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” and later with Lay’s “Do Us A Flavor” – so we’re following the legacy Frito-Lay has built.  Through Cheetos Museum, we’ve reached new creative heights with an art contest that asks consumers to look at the shape of their snack and use their imagination to describe what they’re seeing. 

Second, our department is full of creative people.  If you’re building a program based on a fresh, unique concept, you need creative team members to work with and bounce ideas off of.   

Our colleagues helped us to test the concept in our office. We gave a few marketing team members 10 minutes each to find shapes in an assortment of Cheetos snacks and we ended up with over 100 really interesting shapes and descriptions. That gave us confidence that we had a winning idea, but it also helped us identify some ideas for bringing this to life for all of our Cheetos fans.

How was the Cheetos® Museum idea conceived?  Fans have been finding unique shapes in their Cheetos bags for decades and our team wanted to find a way for consumers to engage in a whole new way this summer. Through the Cheetos Museum campaign, we are able to leverage the unique, unpredictable shapes of Cheetos Crunchy to ignite creativity in others.

What were some of the challenges you needed to overcome along the way?  We spent months refining our program graphics, communication, and consumer call to action before we finalized everything for launch. We needed to find the best way to ask consumers to look at the product that they’ve been eating for decades in a new way and, for most, to have a new experience with it. We think all that hard work paid off since the program got off to a fast start and has gained momentum every week since we launched.

What are the goals on the Cheetos® Museum experience?  The goal of the experience is to encourage Cheetos fans to have fun with their favorite snack and use their imagination to tell us what they see in each Cheetos bag. The best part is that this is something families can do together anywhere – at home, on the road and even on vacation. We also created a way for our fans to see what others are seeing in their Cheetos and engage in a whole new way through the Cheetos Museum website. It has been amazing seeing the shapes our fans are seeing in their Cheetos and the fun they are having with the contest.

For more snacking masterpieces visit www.cheetosmuseum.com

Cheetos Museum


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