How Cheetos implemented the best ever marketing strategy



Do you spend your afternoons sifting through the clouds looking for patterns? Instead, spend that time looking for shapes in your Cheetos, which may be a lot more fun and rewarding!


In the year 2016, Cheetos announced its “Win What You See” campaign, which rewards consumers for buying its infamous cheesy snacks by matching the shapes they find in their snack bag with a prize inspired by what they see.

The campaign was so successful that they planned something else and ended up doing a hell lot of other unbelievable things! Believe it or not but that's what really happened!


But how did it start?

The basic idea was a very fundamental one - No two Cheetos are of the same shape!

They utilized this fundamental idea and planned a marketing campaign around it


So what did they do?

So they asked the world to find the most interesting Cheetos in terms of shape! And...wait for it….

Rewards the consumers for buying and matching the shapes they find in their snack bag with a prize inspired by what they see! Yes! You read it right!

If your Cheeto is shaped like a guitar, you could be rewarded with a top-notch Fender Stratocaster. See a palm tree? You might just find yourself with a free tropical vacation!




To ease the participation process, Cheetos created a digital platform that would allow consumers to view, vote on, and submit their own unique Cheetos shapes!



Their game plan was very simple -

Use the fundamental idea - Cheetos USP

Make the consumers participate - Digital platform and reward

Get the ball get rolling - User-generated content

Make it viral and unique


And their end objective - Increased sales volume!


To implement the above game plan, they first challenged the world to engage more by launching a series of online films featuring real Cheetos found by real people


Approximately 127, 717 Cheetos were submitted resulting in the brand's highest sales week ever!

And finally, they opened an actual exhibition - The Cheetos Museum! in an association with Ripley's Believe it or not!


The impact and craze were so huge that people started selling them on eBay as well; a few Cheetos were sold for as high as $100k!

So why is this campaign so wildly successful? Let’s dissect their game plan even further!

Social media engagement -

First and foremost, all of the content created through the campaign is visual and humorous, making it the perfect kind of social content for consumers to share with their own followers. It’s also engaging, meaning anyone can join in on the hype by sharing their own Cheetos shapes or by simply retweeting their favourite submissions from others.


Website Traffic -

The content posted on social media can all be traced back to the company's website, which is the second greatest thing about this campaign. With 1.47 million visits in the first month after its introduction, the Cheetos Museum campaign saw a 525 per cent boost in site traffic. Consumers aren't just going to the website to read the formal contest rules and submit their images; they're also going to look at the finest submissions and share the most amusing ones on their own social networks, helping Cheetos spread the word without having to do anything.


Media coverage -

Anything that generates this much discussion on social media is certain to attract some press attention, and the Cheetos Museum contest delivered 4,831 media placements.


Their end objective - Sales volume!

The fact that consumers must first obtain a bag of Cheetos in order to enter the contest is maybe the most clever aspect of the entire promotion. This encourages consumers who might not ordinarily buy Cheetos to join in the fun by trying out different Cheetos forms for themselves. The promotion for the Cheetos Museum resulted in the company's best sales week ever!


You can access the short version by clicking on this link - Short version | Instagram


Did you like this article? Do let me know in the comments. Any feedback and suggestions are most welcome