The salty snacks market is one of those which I have studied with pleasure and for which I have realized more than one project. In the middle of 2003, after having worked in an advertising agency, I crossed to the other side as a Brand Manager in a marketing department, and at the end of 2004 I was on the third side as a Client-Service Director. Actually, this triple point of view taught me many subtleties, part of which I’m going to share in these lines. A previous article reminded me of that matter related to the demolition of a ME2 brand platform and the building of a new brand over the same foundations. Every process of demolishing and building takes time, and this particular project took about three years.

In 2002 a company with traditions in production of potato and corn chips - Intersnack, popular with its world-known brand Chio, purchased the production and the local brand Chipi. Owning about 30% from the salty snacks market and over 80% of the chips segment is more than a serious market achievement. At first look it seems wonderful, but considering 2 brands of similar targeting - men and women between 20 and 30 years of age, having a dynamic lifestyle with consumer habits “on the go”, it is almost impossible to achieve a bigger market share. There is always a sufficient quantity of solutions! A main move in the repositioning of the Chipi Chips brand was below the line activity with revolutionary for its time approach in the FMCG market, namely - instant monetary wins (money in-packs). With this “bomb” we achieved 75% sale growth as compared to the previous year and substantial growth in distribution. Along with this move we started working on a new package design, new logo and new target audience, with which later we entered in focus groups. We wanted to attract the family audience - 30 - 40 years old and those who love Bulgarian cuisine and traditions. In Bulgaria, the top of mind association for natural clean potatoes is restricted to roadside merchants who stalk on the mountain roads in the autumn.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned from focus groups and group discussions is that it’s not healthy to trust the results to a maximum extent. The market research throws light, but should not be the basis of creativity. It is extremely important how the research materials were prepared (designs, storyboards, questionnaires, etc.), but the most important thing is the researcher! He is the one who can protect you from slipping when working with indecisive respondents, who are supposed to direct your decision for a long-term strategy! In the end the research extract should reveal to you why and how an idea will work when it is bold, risky or innovative.

Here’s how the prototype of our idea looked like…

After perfect focus groups we had the key to success…

Later on we chose location for its implementation…

For 2 days we shot it…

…and all the time we had so much fun.

The final result of the activity looks like that. The campaign for the re-launch of the Chipi Chips brand started at the end of 2004, three months later the sales were 50% up as compared to the previous year, with no negative effect on the sales of Chio Chips. Out of 2 brands which were cannibalized at the end of the undertaking we had an overall growth of the segment by +21,0% in terms of volume and +18,2% in terms of value YTD 2004 vs. 2003 (ACNielsen RI ON’04).

  • Project credits
  • Creative Studio:Dekaos
  • Creative Direction: Yavor Panchev
  • Art Direction: Simeon Lukov & Andrian Dimitrov
  • Copywrite: Svetoslav Biliarski
  • Production House: Agitprop
  • DOP: Boris Missirkov & Georgi Bogdanov
  • Director: Andrey Paunov
  • Postproduction: Martin Sekulov
  • Brand Management: Biliana Deneva
  • Project Management: Radoslav Minchev
  • Client: Intersnack Bulgaria