Cannes Lions

Yacht The Basel

PEPSICO, Plano / CHEETOS / 2022

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As a brand deeply rooted in culture, Cheetos wanted to grow their Cheetos fandom through self-expression that resonates with Gen Z. Miami Art Week & Art Basel has long delivered influence and preference for luxury brands but was virtually untapped by the consumer packaged goods category; particularly snack food.

Knowing that major cultural tentpoles often deliver the recency and relevance that Gen Z craves, Cheetos was searching for new opportunities to tap into their fans' core passion points of art, beauty, food, and music

Having built credibility through recent work with the rapper Bad Bunny, Cheetos understood that Hip-Hop's core pillar of street art could be a natural way in and the perfect intersection with the consumers' passion points.

Because authenticity is vital in the art world, Cheetos needed the perfect approach, tone, and partner to create this activation and the content surrounding it.


Our team delivered a multi-channel marketing campaign called Yacht the Basel (YTB), which placed Cheetos squarely at the intersection of hip-hop, art, and culture. The program included a "Miami Vice" inspired branded content series, engaging social media, influential talent, and a massive brand experience on a four-story mega-yacht.

Renowned street artist 'Lefty Out There' created eight (8) original works of art using real Cheetos dust that were displayed and sold in a one-of-a-kind art gallery called 'The Art of the Cheetle®'. Cheetle® is of course the trademarked orange dust that is the signature of Cheetos lovers everywhere.

This buildup was a precursor to the 'YTB' activation and event. Combining a never-done-before event with unexpected Cheetle art, Cheetos would disrupt the notoriously noisy Miami Art Week & Art Basel to leave a lasting impression (pun intended)."


The event was meant to establish Cheetos as a vital part of the culture, in an entirely new space, in order to drive preference through both influence and mass appeal.

To succeed, our team had to strike the perfect balance between Cheetos' carefully crafted brand persona rooted in playful mischief, and the sophisticated tone of Art Basel that would serve as the backdrop to the activation.

The solution was to leverage hip-hop's innate celebration of all things aspirational and larger-than-life, by throwing an unforgettable party, with amazing performing talent, on the largest commercial ship in the Intracoastal Waterway, turned floating gallery.

To honor the wit and spontaneity inherent in Cheetos, while establishing the orange dust left behind (aka Cheetle®) as an important part of self-expression, our team and Cheetos leveraged a deeply respected visual artist known for bold contradictions.


In late November 2021, our team built anticipation of 'YTB' with a four (4) part branded content series taking inspiration from 'Miami Vice.' Two detectives, played by social influencers, introduced us to Lefty while attempting to discover the "source" of Lefty's orange dust (Cheetle®) while teasing the upcoming event in Miami.

This content targeted 9.5 million, A18-34, on FB and Instagram who are followers of our team owner icons (LL COOL J, Eminem, Run-DMC, Shephard Fairey, etc.) leveraging an innovative parent/child relationship in FB ads manager.

'YTB' culminated with an activation on December 4, 2021. The SeaFair Miami, a 68-meter mega yacht, was transformed into a floating gallery featuring Lefty's art. Cheetos products and branding were tastefully integrated into the ship's decor to build positive brand association and recall. The unforgettable event featured day and nighttime performances by 21-year-old rapper Kaash Paige and legendary DJ and producer, Just Blaze.


'YTB' successfully dethroned the infamous duct-taped banana as the most memorable food-related Art Basel moment and provided Cheetos an authentic place at the intersection of hip-hop, art, and food culture.

'YTB' earned forty-six (46) media placements, totaling over 1.2 Billion press impressions -- most delivered before the event -- from a wide range of media outlets including 'The New York Times', 'Forbes', 'Food & Wine', 'Time Out', and 'The Source'. It was named one of AdAge's "Top 5 Creative Campaigns You Need To Know About Right Now" (11/29/21)

Between the public-facing daytime activation (13,000+ RSVPs and 7,000 opted-in emails) and the nighttime VIP cruise, 'YTB' was attended by over 2,500 guests. The line was several blocks long hours before the activation started.

Cheetos-inspired art, food, and drinks were enjoyed by an influential crowd of artists, philanthropists, and hip-hop luminaries including Jonathan Mannion, DJ EFN from "Drink Champs" and many more

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