Frito-Lay Puts Cheetos Brand in Bloggers’ Hands

Federated Media Ad Buy Asks Users to Create Sponsored Content on Boing Boing, Other Channels

Published: February 11, 2009

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Mass marketers have generally taken a wary stance toward blogs, but Frito-Lay isn’t just embracing bloggers, it’s letting them define their brand.

The snack-maker is sponsoring seven blogs in a sizable ad buy through Federated Media for its Cheetos brand, including the flagship tech/culture blog Boing Boing, several Next New Network channels, tech-news website Mashable, Makezine and Outblush.

But here’s where it gets interesting: Cheetos is asking the bloggers themselves to create sponsored content integrating the brand, over which Cheetos and its ad agencies, Omnicom Group’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and OMD, will have no creative control.

“We were prepared to show them the blog posts beforehand, but they didn’t want to see them,” said Next New Networks CEO Lance Podell, whose Barely Political, Fastlane Daily and IndyMogul were part of the buy. “Cheetos was insistent that it be the voice of the blog.”

The six-week website takeover involves sponsored posts, branded “Cheetos Boredom Busters,” where the blogger creates content on the theme of “beating boredom.”

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