In 2006, Doritos broke the mold of Super Bowl Advertising by putting consumers in control.
Frito-Lay’s “Crash the Super Bowl” ad campaign is probably one of the famous ad campaigns in Super Bowl history. Between 2006-2016, Frito-Lay ran an annual commercial contest, which encouraged fans to create commercials to be aired during the game. Finalists had the chance to have their content aired during the Super Bowl and winners received bonuses between $400,000 to $1,000,000.
Beginning before the Golden Age of consumer-generated content on platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, Doritos’ approach was truly revolutionary. The “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign aired the first consumer-generated commercial on television called “Live the Flavor.”
Many credit the “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign for granting legitimacy to the amateur consumer-generated content that would come to drive marketing on social media platforms. During the time Doritos started their campaign, consumer-generated content was just starting to take root. As technology on the internet improved, it provided consumers with a platform on which to share their voice. Over the course of ten years, fans submitted roughly 36,000 submissions for the chance to be featured during the game. Dorito’s typically chose winners they believed would score high on the USA Today’s Ad Meter. Doritos ads frequently scored high in the Ad Meter’s rankings and consistently made the Top 10 in ACE Metrix’s rankings from 2010-2016.
Man’s Best Friend
The rise of amateur digital content online ultimately contributed to Doritos decision to retire the campaign. In 2016, Doritos announced that it would end its annual “Crash the Super Bowl” contest. North American Frito-Lay Chief Marketing Officer Ram Krishnan explained in an interview with Ad Age that the campaign when the contest originally started it offered a stage for amateurs to be discovered for their work. Now, Gen Z is “not waiting to be discovered. They themselves are earning success by putting out their own YouTube channel and creating content for that. The role of the brand and the value that we add with this consumer has changed.”
After 10 years of running the “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign, Doritos took a hiatus for the 2017 Super Bowl game. Fans need not worry that the brand is gone for good from the game, though. Frito-Lay announced this year that Doritos would return to the Super Bowl in a combined ad with Mountain Dew in an effort to court Millenials and Gen Z. Although advertising two products in the same ad can be risky, Jennifer Saenz, chief marketing officer for Frito-Lay America, believes that it will work. “If you look at the purchase habits of consumers,” she said, referring to company research, “Doritos and Dew are purchased together in more of the same baskets than peanut butter and jelly.” The ad campaign features Morgan Freeman and Peter Dinklage in a face-off between Doritos Blaze and Mountain Dew Ice. See a sneak peek of the campaign:
What do you think about this new approach? Do you think it will be more effective than the consumer-generated “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign? What is your favorite Doritos commercial? Comment your answer below.
– K. Layne Smith