PLANO, Texas, July 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — From throwing birthday parties for children in need to surprising hospital patients with a furry friend to rehabilitating injured veterans, 31 everyday people are being invited into millions of homes this summer to share their stories – and spread smiles – thanks to Lay’s, America’s favorite potato chip brand. With the launch of its “Smiles” campaign, Lay’s is unveiling 31 inspiring stories across a variety of flavors and varieties – including Traditional, Wavy, Lightly Salted, Poppables, and Kettle Cooked – all featuring the faces of “Everyday Smilers” who are making an impact in their local communities and beyond.
The program, which benefits international medical charity, Operation Smile, with a donation of up to $1 million in proceeds, kicks off in New York City today with dancer, actor, singer and smiles enthusiast Derek Hough, who is inviting fans to visit the first-ever Lay’s Smiles Station in Times Square, where visitors can take home their own limited-edition Lay’s Smiles bags and experience firsthand the magnetic power of sharing a smile. The Lay’s Smiles Station will also pop up near Bryant Park on Wednesday, July 24, open to the public from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. on both days.
“Kudos to Lay’s for recognizing that it’s the simple things in life that hold the most value. Sharing a smile with a friend is often just what you need as your own pick-me-up – and everyone, no matter who you are, can appreciate that unexpected bright spot in your day,” said Hough. “I’m honored to join Lay’s as they spread smiles on a global scale with Operation Smile, and then also at a community level with the Everyday Smilers who remind us that gestures big and small can create joy.”
Last year, Lay’s debuted similar “Smiles” packaging in conjunction with a $1 million commitment to Operation Smile, which surpassed expectations with customer feedback and social engagement to prompt the campaign’s return in 2019 – this year with the addition of real people on the selfie-inspiring bags.
“The simple act of everyday smilers sharing their stories can have a big impact on our work to help children around the world,” said Kristie Magee Porcaro, senior vice president of global philanthropy for Operation Smile. “We are grateful that Lay’s has launched its ‘Smiles’ campaign for a second year, recognizing the power that a single storyteller has to inspire others and help change the world.”
“We know the world today needs more joy and we take a lot of pride in the joy that comes from simply opening a bag of Lay’s – and just like that bag draws you in, so does sharing a smile,” said Sadira Furlow, vice president of marketing, Frito-Lay North America. “Last year, our fans shared an average of 700 selfies per day with the ‘Smiles’ bags, revealing a tremendous opportunity for our bags to transform into storytellers, inspiring even more smiles with the great work of Operation Smile and ordinary people doing extraordinary things in their communities. Our hope is that with every smile we encourage, another one follows, and so on – with those seemingly little moments of joy and connection adding up to make a big difference.”
Fans can learn more about the 31 Everyday Smilers featured on the Lay’s Smiles bags through a mobile video campaign with NowThis, produced in partnership with Group Nine’s Brandshop and Facebook. Consumers can also learn more about the Everyday Smilers through an augmented reality experience powered by the Facebook Camera and triggered by scanning a unique QR code on the back of each Smiles bag. The inspiring Everyday Smilers’ stories include:
- Akio O., Chicago, IL: Akio is a tech worker dedicated to making others feel special through the “analog technology” of handwritten notes.
- Alex P., Galloway, OH: Alex writes encouraging postcards to surprise and spread joy to people in his community.
- Ashley C., Fort Worth, TX: Ashley founded Sparkle Mental Health Connection, an organization dedicated to sharing challenges, raising awareness, and educating the community about mental health.
- Austin M., Plano, TX: Austin is the founder of an apparel and lifestyle brand called PURPOSEFULL that releases videos with each new design to help others live their lives with purpose.
- Chadleen L., Corona, CA: Chadleen was born with a cleft palate and she received a surgery from Operation Smile at the age of four. Now, Chadleen’s singing brings smiles to the faces of many.
- Christine A., Dallas, TX: Christine created Ark of the Rainbow, which focuses on providing education and life skills to families in India.
- Collette D., Boston, MA: Equipped with a big dream and an even bigger personality, Collette started her business, Collettey’s Cookies, to sell delicious treats while also helping people with disabilities like herself find work.
- David V., Lewisville, TX: David is a former professional football player who helps rehabilitate and train injured veterans and adaptive athletes through his nonprofit, Adaptive Training Foundation.
- Derek P., Dallas, TX: As a personal trainer, Derek runs fitness classes and camps. Through his fundraising, Derek gives back by using his smile to give underprivileged kids a reason to smile too.
- Dr. Chris E., Chesterfield, MO: Dr. Chris is a fun-loving anesthesiologist whose incredible work with Operation Smile has created more than 600 beautiful new smiles around the world.
- Dr. Shalin P., Frisco, TX: Dr. Shalin is a dentist who supports his practice in volunteer efforts to provide free dental screenings for hundreds of elementary school students.
- Dr. Shelly B., Phoenix, AZ: Dr. Shelly is a pediatrician who believes everyone deserves to smile. That’s why she volunteers her specialized skills to Operation Smile by helping thankful children all over the world get the medical care they need
- Elizabeth B., Dallas, TX: Elizabeth is a NICU nurse with a positive personality that lifts the spirits of those around her. She writes inspiring quotes on the hospital gowns of her colleagues to keep them smiling throughout the day.
- Eric P., Chicago, IL: Eric provides sneakers for kids who can’t afford them by creating and selling artwork that combines his passions for sneakers and comic books.
- Houston K., Venice, CA: Houston is the passionate co-founder of CharacterStrong – an organization that helps communities and schools put kindness into action through a variety of fun educational resources.
- Hugh H., Los Angeles, CA: Hugh provides jobs to women transitioning out of homelessness through his nonprofit, Residency Apparel. These jobs help equip them with the skills they need to become self-sufficient and secure a brighter future.
- Kam P., Fort Worth, TX: Kam’s organization, Dream Outside the Box, ignites dreams and brighter futures by sending free career exploration boxes to children all around the world.
- Katie L., Chicago, IL: Katie started Kitchen Possible to empower kids to make amazing things happen in their lives by showing them how to make amazing things happen in the kitchen.
- Kim S., Costa Mesa, CA: Kim created an annual bandage drive to collect bright and colorful bandages for pediatric cancer patients. The bandages are donated from all over the world.
- Lael M., Plano, TX: Lael and her family created The Melville Family Foundation in order to bring smiles to disadvantaged youth by focusing on education and mentorship.
- Lauren L., Chicago, IL: Lauren lends her helping hands to doctors on mission trips. She keeps kids happy and comfortable while they receive important medical assistance.
- Lawrence M., Plano, TX: Lawrence has made it his lifelong mission to mentor kids from disadvantaged families – steering them away from crime and toward programs that build strong character.
- Mary-Ellen G., Dallas, TX: Once a week, Mary-Ellen and her dog, Tucker, visit children in the hospital to lift their spirits. Tucker’s presence helps bring some joy to these young patients.
- Matt P., Dallas, TX: Matt, like most guys, smiles when he makes his girlfriend smile. So, he got his dogs certified as therapy pets to raise her spirits as she fights against Crohn’s disease.
- Nicholas K., Novi, MI: Nicholas is the founder of Fleece & Thank You, an organization that comforts children in hospitals by gifting them with colorful handmade blankets.
- Paige C., Dallas, TX: Paige believes birthday parties show kids that they matter. That’s why she helped create The Birthday Party Project that spreads smiles by throwing birthday parties – cake, decorations, presents and all – for children living in shelters and transitional environments.
- Queyoun M., Arlington, TX: You’ll find Queyoun’s smile lighting up the classroom and the basketball court. As a volunteer and teacher, Queyoun’s smile has been working overtime for a lifetime.
- Robin J., Oakland, CA: Robin is an award-winning advocate for minority women in business. Her work helps women acquire the skills they need to succeed in the workplace.
- Shane M., Lake Stevens, WA: Shane, along with his sons, chops and delivers truckloads of firewood to those in need during the cold winter months.
- Shawn W., Atlanta, GA: Shawn started a nonprofit bicycle shop called WeCycle Atlanta that helps teach inner-city youth valuable life skills and the impact of community service.
- Tawanda S., Fort Lauderdale, FL: Tawanda spreads holiday cheer by organizing toy drives for underprivileged families in her community.
To support Lay’s in the mission to spread millions of smiles, fans are encouraged to smile by sharing their own Lay’s Smiles bag using the hashtag #SmilewithLays across social media to help spread a powerful sense of joy nationwide.
Lay’s specially designed Smiles bags are now available nationwide for a limited time starting Sunday, July 28. For more information on the campaign, visit www.Lays.com.
Lay’s is one of the brands that makes up Frito-Lay North America, the $15 billion convenient foods division of PepsiCo, Inc. (Nasdaq: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate website, http://www.fritolay.com/, the Snack Chat blog, http://www.snacks.com/ and on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/fritolay. Learn more about Lay’s by visiting www.facebook.com/lays or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/lays. You can also follow Lay’s on Instagram by visiting http://instagram.com/lays.
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $64 billion in net revenue in 2018, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail.
About Operation Smile
Operation Smile has provided hundreds of thousands safe surgeries for those born with cleft lip, cleft palate or other facial differences. With more than three decades of expertise, Operation Smile creates solutions that deliver free surgery to people where it’s needed most. As one of the largest medical volunteer-based nonprofits, Operation Smile has mobilized thousands of medical volunteers from a wide range of medical specialties from more than 80 countries. Operation Smile engages public-private partnerships to advance health care delivery, train local medical professionals to provide surgical care for patients in their communities, donate crucial medical equipment and supplies, and increase access to surgical care so that everyone living with cleft is treated. Visit www.operationsmile.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.