In a matter of days, the world will turn its attention to London where the most elite athletes from around the globe will come together for the ultimate demonstration of preparation, perseverance and performance. What started during the 8th century BC in Greece with a handful of events and competitors has evolved over time to become one of the world’s greatest spectacles.

What I find so impressive about this event is that each host city offers its own unique twist to the pageantry and excitement of the games, yet the underlying formula for success has remained consistent for centuries. Each new venue truly builds off the insights and key learnings of its predecessors, while creating new moments-in-time and experiences that are truly unique and a source of pride for all involved.

World-class marketing can and should do the same, and the global reach and talent within PepsiCo makes doing so uniquely possible for our portfolio of brands.

Today, Lay’s potato chips kicked off its “Do Us A Flavor” contest, which asks consumers to submit ideas for our next great chip flavor. It’s a contest that has already seen success in many countries around the world, and the timing for our U.S. launch could not be more ideal. In the year 2013 when we reveal our winning consumer-created flavor, Lay’s will celebrate its 75th anniversary. What better way to honor this milestone than to turn the brand over to the fans that have made it a success.

PepsiCo has been at the forefront of consumer-generated programming with campaigns like Mt. Dew’s Dewmocracy and the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest. Do Us A Flavor promises to build on this legacy. Beyond harnessing fans for their input on delicious flavors, the “Do Us A Flavor” contest will also raise the bar when it comes to consumer engagement through a range of innovative communications, in-store and digital components.

But, what makes this program world class is that it has actually tapped a class of worldwide talent and success that has come before it. The “Do Us A Flavor” contest was first conducted in the UK in 2008 and has since brought consumers into the “flavor business” in dozens of other countries ranging from Egypt to Australia, India to South Africa, Poland to Columbia. More than eight million fans around the world have submitted ideas for chip flavors, creating a range of exciting new snacks. Most importantly, these consumer-led contests have engaged fans at a level that truly makes them part of the brands they love as opposed to just treating fans as consumers of our products.

Like the city of London, Lay’s potato chips in the U.S. now has the opportunity to build on groundbreaking work that has been re-imagined and refined through various cultures and world views to make our “Do Us A Flavor” contest something very special. Few companies have the ability to really leverage their global footprint into a competitive strength in this way, and “lift and shift” innovative thinking to create new opportunities. At PepsiCo, this way of thinking is encouraged, supported and celebrated, which – in my opinion — puts PepsiCo into a world class of its own.