Imagine a world where you can eat a bag of Cheetos and go about your day—stream some shows, cook a meal, even throw a party—and keep your house free of that delicious orange dust (technical term: Cheetle). No cheesy smudges on the appliances. No fingerprints on the remotes. It sounds like something out of the snacking future. But at the 2022 South by Southwest (SXSW), the annual tech, film, media, and music festival in Austin, Texas, Cheetos and Amazon Ads made this fantasy a reality by constructing an actual hands-free house powered by Alexa.
Guests begin their experience of the Cheetos Hands-Free house through tech-enabled entry.
Upon tech-enabled entry, guests were able to hang out in the Cheetos Hands-Free House and enjoy a number of activities—while keeping their Cheetle-dusted fingers from leaving orange smudges all over the place. If they wanted to hop on the couch and watch a film, they just asked Alexa to “Start movie night.” Guests could head to the kitchen where, with the wave of a palm, the oven would make Cheetos mozzarella sticks. They could check out the lounge and play music using voice controls, then make an appearance in the backyard for a Cheetos-themed party (complete with cocktails using the beloved snack).
In the lounge, guests can ask Alexa to "Start movie night."
“Every room in the house was carefully designed to showcase how technology can be used to power everyday activities that normally require two hands,” said Melody Macaluso, marketing director at PepsiCo. “For Cheetos fans, the iconic orange dust—or Cheetle—on your fingertips is a badge of savory honor. But it also can be a tricky situation when swiping left on your phone, squeezing in a quick snack while driving to your next meeting, or using the vacuum to clean up your evidence.”
In the kitchen, guests are served Cheetos mozzarella sticks with the wave of a hand.
The idea for the Cheetos Hands-Free House came together with the “mischievous notion” that maybe hands-free technology was invented just so people wouldn’t get Cheetle-covered fingerprints everywhere, Macaluso said. With this concept in mind, Cheetos wanted to create an immersive, authentic experience to connect with consumers. The brand approached the Amazon Ads Brand Innovation Lab to help bring the idea to life.
“They were very much wanting to drive awareness,” said Shana Weber, a solutions manager at Amazon Ads. “That was one of the reasons they came to us. The Amazon Alexa team was able to help build on the idea to make it a full Amazon tech house.”
Weber’s favorite part of the house was Chester’s Den, named for the snack’s longtime mascot, where a voice message would play and invite the guest to a party. “When that voice trigger happened, the den turned itself into a party room with disco lights and music and a bar,” she said.
In Chester’s Den, named for the snack’s longtime mascot, a voice message invites guests to a party.