By Erika Mathieu
Westwind Weekly News
In what turned out to be a brilliant viral marketing campaign, Frito-Lay unveiled a 17 foot tall statue on Oct. 4 of a hand, covered in bright orange dust, holding a Cheeto.
The small hamlet of Cheadle, Alberta, in Wheatland County, home to the statue known as the “Cheetle,” has seen a sharp uptick in tourists and curious motorists stopping for a quick shot of the strange and kitschy attraction. The name “Cheetle” is the colloquial definition of the powdery residue that sticks to your fingers while indulging in Cheetos.
As a proud Odd-Bertan, I initially resisted the urge to visit this one and write about it, it seemed so on-the-nose as an obvious marketing ploy. The ordeal has undoubtedly brought in big bucks for the brand over the past few weeks. However, I quickly gave in. Truthfully, I can’t think of anything weirder and more on-brand for this column than a giant 17 foot tall Cheeto dust-covered statue in the middle of rural Alberta.
There is really not much to say about this that hasn’t already been said by every news publication in Alberta, and beyond, but if you are a snack-fanatic or fun photo collector, you have a few more weeks to visit the hamlet, before the Cheetle statue will be relocated.
Using the hashtags carefully curated by PepsiCo, visitors have kept Cheetos intermittently trending across social media platforms for a few weeks. Now, with a wildly successful viral marketing campaign, which prompted national coverage, it is clear the people of Cheadle and the senior marketing director for PepsiCo Foods Canada knew what they was doing. How could something so unexpected and grandiose not be newsworthy?
What’s more surprising is the massive lineup of people in vehicles waiting on the highway to get there perfect instagram-worthy shot of the cheesy enigma in a hamlet with less than 100 residents.
If you’re curious and out that way, the statue will remain roadside until Nov. 4.