Pringles Is Betting on That “Flavor Stacking” Thing Again for Super Bowl LIII

Bizarre chip combos to star for the second year in a row

Pringles says there are 318,000 stackable flavor combos to be tasted. Pringles

Among the many marvels of modern food science is the ability to make potato chips taste like all sorts of things that aren’t potato chips: pizza, pickles, even cheeseburgers. In the case of Pringles—the chips whose hyperbolic paraboloid shape allows them to be stacked—such an innovation has led to the concomitant marvel of “flavor stacking,” the ability to mix and match different flavors to create a veritable meal in the mouth.

Last year, parent company Kellogg decided that flavor stacking was a big enough deal that it warranted a 30-second ad in the Super Bowl, its first spot in the Big Game. Now, after crunching the data, it’s clear that headquarters was pleased enough with the results: This morning, Kellogg announced its plans to return to the Super Bowl in 2019.

“The spot will continue its ‘flavor stacking’ campaign, first introduced in last year’s Super Bowl spot,” said a spokesperson, “with a focus on the endless possibilities it unlocks.”

Apart from confirming that it will stick with agency Grey Group, that’s about all the chip brand is saying for the time being.

Pringles’ spot will air at an undisclosed time slot in the game and will be accompanied by supporting creative in the digital realm.

Last year’s Super Bowl spot starred actor and comedian Bill Hader, shown taking a break from an action film he was shooting to discover the mind-blowing wonders of flavor stacking, courtesy of two witless grips on the set who stumble on it by accident. (They created jalapeno barbecue pizza by stacking three chips with those respective flavors.)

The company’s been silent on what celebrity (if any) will star in this year’s effort.

In the never-ending race to differentiate a product that is, in essence, a commodity, Pringles has staked much of its brand identity on flavor stacking. Its website features a section devoted to it allowing visitors to virtually stack their own Pringles flavor combos, followed by a screen that celebrates your culinary combo by proclaiming “Wow!” With over 20 flavors in the Pringles arsenal, the company is also quick to point out that there are 318,000 flavor combinations to be experienced.

But how many people could possibly want to eat, for instance, a pizza-pickle-ranch potato chip? Probably not too many. Even so, with viewership hovering around 100 million for the past decade or so, the company obviously believes that there are enough would-be stackers out there to make the Super Bowl’s price of entry worthwhile.


@UpperEastRob Robert Klara is a senior editor, brands at Adweek, where he specializes in covering the evolution and impact of brands.