This Fun Snack Food Marketing Campaign Takes a Poke at Politics

Snack food cartoon mascots make for the most creative social marketing

Chester for Chester campaign for Cheetos
The Cheetos cheetah mascot named Chester has an all out marketing campaign to run for major. Frito-Lay

At the rate this political race is going, don't be surprised if a fictional food mascot becomes mayor of a real town.

Perhaps it's a reflection on the current political race that a news release about Chester Cheetah "running for mayor of Chester, Montana" is more interesting than the actual debates.

Frito-Lay and its agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners went all out creating this campaign, with posters, videos and all kinds of social media twists.

The Chester Cheetah Twitter account featuring the old-time hipster cheetah, who lives on Cheetos, has more than 72,500 followers and multiple re-tweets for each tweet.

The images and hilarious campaign materials could make the Chester for Chester campaign the envy of real politicians. The mock causes Chester advocates are nearly more interesting than the real politicians too. According to his official spokes person, "Chester’s 'Orange Party' platform includes painting the local playground slide orange and installing orange cross walks."

Interesting Things About This Campaign

  1. The targeting: The National Institutes of Health have long tracked the effect of how using cartoon characters and other cute food brand mascots can persuade kids to want foods that aren't necessarily good for them.

    While social media is meant to engage, using the Chester mascot with a political theme twist is less likely to engage with kids than adults, who can make more informed food choices. This might serve Frito-Lay well, given the analysis of Cheetos ingredients that a 9-year old did.
  1. The flexibility and possibilities: The campaign season is a long one. There are so many ways, and very timely opportunities, to refresh this Cheetos marketing campaign over many months. The humorous campaign comes as a welcome distraction from the humor of the real campaigns and races.

    Plus, the Chester for Chester campaign calls upon old-time political imagery and themes (at the risk of getting dinged for mocking the likes of Rosie the Riveter and Che) to give the brand and character a modern feel. I'll admit, I wanted to share it!
  1. Keeping the campaign alive: During the debates Chester (or his handlers) live tweeted all sorts of humorous remarks and images. These concentrated blasts of event-based marketing help grow a brand in the social space and lead to the possibility of "trending" on Twitter.

Here's a Free Marketing Idea

Lots of old snack food brands are struggling to keep or regain market share in the face of people seeking healthier alternatives. Plus, there's that pesky Internet, where it's become popular to expose all of the ingredients and production secrets we may not have wanted to know.

If Frito-Lay figures out a way to simplify the Cheetos ingredients list and keep it natural, as are so many big food brands, this addictively crunchy snack food will surely sell itself.