How Chris Bellinger Uses Web3 to Bring a ‘Surround Sound’ to Frito-Lay Brands

Written by AdChat DFW

Chris Bellinger is among Ad Age’s Web3 Marketing Trailblazers 2023

As Chris Bellinger sees it, Web3 activations can bring a “surround sound” effect to brands.

“Dealing in Web3 and the metaverse just takes it to a different exposure level” vs. traditional marketing tools, Bellinger, Frito-Lay’s VP, creative & digital, explained in an interview with Ad Age. “It’s a different level of engagement—almost an intimacy—that exists when somebody is going to opt in at that level.”

Bellinger has aligned these technologies to Frito-Lay’s purpose of using creative storytelling to influence culture and bring joy to fans of the brand.

Last year, Bellinger led a World Cup metaverse play called the Pass the Ball Challenge in which fans could place their face on a virtual soccer ball and get an exclusive NFT. More than 1.3 million fans, with 60% returning more than once, claimed their NFT and shared with their friends.

The Doritos Triangle Tracker was a Snapchat AR lens that gamified the world by sending fans on a nationwide hunt where any triangle could unlock exclusive experiences and rewards. The campaign drove 2.1 billion earned-media impressions, engaged nearly 400,000 program participants and attracted nearly 300,000 gamers to “Triangle Island.”

With Web3, Bellinger said, “Things that were never possible before are now possible tomorrow, and that’s a really cool space to be in from a creative perspective, and with brands that we’ve got.”

What advice would you give to teens about using social media today?

I think young people should be cognizant of not spending too much time on social media—there’s so much to enjoy about life offline! But when teens use social media, it’s important to be safe. Consult with your parents before engaging and continue to have a conversation with them about your experiences—especially any time you feel uncomfortable. And remember, anything you post or say on social media is forever. Be you. Embrace the opportunity to express yourself. Social media can be a powerful place to have a voice. It’s key for our brands to spread joy and positivity on social media, and I think teens should bring that same energy to the time they spend online.

How is new technology changing the way you work?

It is challenging to keep up with the pace of technology. In just a year, the conversation has shifted from crypto and NFTs to the metaverse and virtual experiences. But new technology also provides us with new ways to connect with our fans. It’s important for us to stay agile, to try things out to connect with what new tech is exciting consumers, all while remembering that the human connection behind the technology is what really matters. Tech is a tool, but not our purpose.

What piece of technology could you absolutely not live without?

Not to sound cliché, but my phone is a portal to information that would be tough to live without. I’ve got a computer in my pocket that’s millions of times more powerful than what got us to the moon. Through our phones, we’re able to access communities all around the world, engage in the moment and strike while the iron is hot. With Doritos Triangle Tracker, we literally encouraged fans to view the world through their phones to discover triangles around them—and then turn those triangles into Doritos. We’re creating a new world for our fans that can be accessed only through their phones.

What’s your favorite blog, TikTok account, podcast or any must-follows in your media diet?

For me, it’s TikTok in general. I am constantly keeping up with where consumers are going and what they do. In the past, this would mean going to a bunch of different places—trend sites, news sites, Reddit, etc.—to see what’s going on. But TikTok consolidates everything into 10-second to 60-second videos. If it’s something really interesting, I can click in to learn more, whether that means a time-efficiency hack or a talk on regenerative farming. The algorithm is your best friend—or your worst nightmare when you find yourself scrolling for hours on end.

What is the biggest technical leap you’ve had to adjust to in your career and how did you do it?

Right now, it feels like everything is happening all at once—from crypto and NFTs to deep fakes and AI. Even though the internet has brought us waves of innovation, in the past, it felt like a slow burn compared to now. I think brands will have to be more agile than ever to keep up with all the change while still maintaining their integrity and a focus on their purpose.

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AdChat DFW

Promoting Agencies, Marketing, Production and Film in Dallas-Ft. Worth