Not only is Doritos finger-licking-good, but it has developed one of the most innovative marketing strategies within the last 7 years, and is still going strong. The Super Bowl commercials are generally one of America’s favorite highlights of the game. Talk to any of your friends or colleagues the day after the game, and you’re likely to hear mention of a Doritos commercial. Doritos has been known recently for its funny, clever and cute commercials. Who are the geniuses behind these memorable 30-second clips you might be wondering? The fans.
In 2006 Frito-Lay decided its addictive Doritos brand shouldn’t air the standard agency-made ads during the Super Bowl, but rather the brand should launch its own campaign. Thus the “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign was born, a contest where fans worldwide were invited to create and submit their own Doritos ads. Wait, what? Doritos is going to leave its biggest commercial television spots in the hands of its fans during the Super Bowl, which is considered to be the largest event for advertising and releasing a product name to billions of people around the world? That’s exactly right. Wow, what an incredible marketing campaign!
Doritos used social media to promote this innovative campaign via its Facebook and YouTube pages, and its company website where consumers could vote for their favorite video. Two finalists would be selected to have their commercial aired during the Super Bowl, one from the highest number of votes and the other chosen by the Doritos marketing team. The final winner of the two would be awarded 1 million dollars if his or her ad finished at No. 1 on the USA Today Ad Meter. Along with that, the winner would earn the chance to work with Michael Bay, popularly known for his recent film series, Transformers. The prizes to the final winner don’t stop there, in addition to the cash prize and opportunity to work with Michael Bay, Doritos continued to promote the finalist’s videos on its website along with other social media networks.
The genius Doritos campaign was, and still is, a huge success. Doritos has increased its presence on all spans of social media. Ram Krishnan, VP of marketing at Frito-Lay told AdWeek, “Almost every single metric of the program exceeded what we achieved during the last six years.” Krishnan also mentioned that the widespread publicity that Facebook provided to fans around the world is what really helped the videos go viral, thus promoting the Doritos campaign. “That’s the whole reason why we switched,” Krishnan continued. “People like to talk about the videos, and that reaches their circle of friends.”
The winner for the most recent Crash the Super Bowl campaign this year was Ryan Thomas Anderson, of Scottsdale, Ariz., the aspiring filmmaker produced the hilariously clever “Time Machine” ad, which featured his son and his dog. Anderson’s ad was aired during the 2014 Super Bowl and was enjoyed by many. It is obvious why Doritos put its trust in its fans and consumers and their abilities to create award winning television campaigns. Let’s talk about why Doritos’ Crash the Super Bowl campaign worked.
- Raising the Stakes: Not only did Doritos encourage fans to submit a video to be aired during the popularly watched Super Bowl (as if that wouldn’t be cool enough on its own), but awarding $1 million dollars if the ad reaches the No. 1 spot on the Ad Meter?! Over 6000 filmmakers took up the challenge, and as we have seen, produced award winning results!
- Trusting the Fans: Ram Krishnan says, “Great content comes from anywhere.” As VP of marketing for Frito-Lay, he personally believes others worldwide have the talent to produce an advertisement worthy of air-time during the Super Bowl. Not something we’ve commonly seen from other companies.
- Utilizing Social Media: Facebook, YouTube, Doritos, Michael Bay…they’re all working together to help promote this successful campaign. By using multiple social media outlets, word about the campaign spread. It allowed fans and consumers the opportunity to vote on the videos and allowed the finalists’ ads to be seen even after the Super Bowl game has ended.
- Keeping Up with the Times: Doritos has come a long way since 2006 when it first started the Crash the Super Bowl campaign. Since then there have been adjustments, new ideas, new rules…all resulting in the betterment of the campaign, which has lead ultimately to this campaign’s success.
Doritos is changing the possibilities of viral marketing, by asking talented people all over the world to participate. Who knows, maybe it will encourage you to take up the challenge and produce an award winning Super Bowl ad. Make sure to come back next week and see how Samsung teamed up with The Oscars, and what we can learn from its marketing strategy.