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Jun 17, 2023

U.S. women soccer stars appear as animated avatars in Frito-Lay World Cup ad.

Frito-Lay turned snack chips into U.S. soccer stars for its FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign.

A new ad called “Taste of Greatness” shows a mom explaining to her daughter why the World Cup players are so good by using snack chips, including Lay’s, Doritos, Cheetos, Ruffles and Pop Corners.

Stars including Mia Hamm, Carli Lloyd, Abby Wambach, Brandi Chastain, Briana Scurry, Marta Vieira da Silva, Christine Sinclair, Julie Ertz, Mallory Swanson and Crystal Dunn materialize out of chip dust into small avatars to kick around and score. The avatars were created using 3D body scanning technology.

While the players didn’t get to choose which snack brand they would originate from in the ad, they were told ahead of time. “We cleared it with them,” said Brett O’Brien, Frito-Lay North America’s chief marketing officer. “They were all aligned and familiar with the snack they were associated with.”

The players came into the studio to physically execute the moves seen in the ad, including diving saves and an overhead kick, using motion-scanning and motion capture technology.

Frito-Lay’s in-house agency D3 was behind the ad. The spot was directed by Bryan Buckley, who is known for big-budget Super Bowl ads for brands including Toyota, BMW and the NFL.

“[Bryan] understands action, but having fun with action,” O’Brien said. “Viewers get involved and engaged because they want to know what happens next, but they aren’t so engaged that they forget the brand.”

Frito-Lay is a North America sponsor for the World Cup and also the “official USA snack” for the tournament, which begins July 20 in Australia and New Zealand. The ad will run online and during TV broadcasts through the rest of the Women’s World Cup, which ends Aug. 20. Fox Sports will air matches on Fox and FS1, while NBCUniversal’s Telemundo has U.S. Spanish-language rights.

Frito-Lay was previously a North American sponsor for the 2022 men’s FIFA World Cup held in Qatar, the brand’s first World Cup deal. O’Brien said that the PepsiCo brand knew then it would also be a sponsor of the Women’s World Cup.

“We knew from the get-go that the Women’s World Cup is just as important as the men’s,” he said. “We went in knowing that if we did the men’s, we would do the women’s as well.”

It marks Frito Lay North America’s “largest-ever investment in women's sports,” according to an announcement of the deal in May.

FIFA says the Women’s World Cup will be the largest standalone women’s sporting event in the world, reaching an estimated 2 billion people and 1.5 million spectators. Other sponsors include McDonald’s, Unilever and Visa.

Read more: FIFA Women’s World Cup—what brands need to know

The commercial is part of a larger Frito-Lay campaign tied to the tournament, including a sweepstakes conducted on Twitter. Prizes include $1,000 cash and two tickets and travel to Sydney to watch the World Cup final. For each goal scored, fans are asked to tweet “GOAL” using #sweepstakes and #LaysGOALdenGiveaway and tag @Lays. Each Tweet @Lays counts as an entry.

The snack behemoth will also host a watch party with Fox Sports on July 21 at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

In this article:

Erika Wheless is a marketing reporter covering restaurants and food. She previously covered social media and creators for Ad Age, and is a graduate of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism.

Read more: FIFA Women’s World Cup—what brands need to know