After 10 years of “Crashing the Super Bowl,” Doritos is Trying Something New.

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.

Top 3 Rated ACE Metrix Doritos Ads

Sling Baby

Pug Attack

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

8 thoughts on “After 10 years of “Crashing the Super Bowl,” Doritos is Trying Something New.

  1. I don’t think that this form of advertising will do as well as the fan generated commercials. mixing two products is a risky business in and of itself, and even including two very well known actors won’t have the same kick that the “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign had. it makes sense that they would try something different, but the nice thing about what they had going was that each year was more inventive than the last. with the new commercial, you know a lot of money went into it, and it just doesn’t have the same charm or draw that the fan made ones had. with those, you always could see how much time and effort went into those commercials, and they always had a variety of unique tones that made each submission memorable. you could feel the human touch and personality behind each homemade commercial. for example, its been years since this one was submitted, yet I go back to it almost every year and it never ceases to make me laugh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiwPMQWBcAQ
    its horrible, but the fact that they even went that route is astounding, disturbing, and flat out memorable. you just don’t get that kind of risk taking when the actual company gets involved.

  2. I enjoyed reading this post and I find it interesting how they started this opportunity for the people. I completely agree with the fact that times has changed and I understand why they took the opportunity away.
    However I think it was smart both for them as a company but also a great chance for “normal” people to get a shot to show what they can do in advertising as well. Cause in today’s society it can be very hard to get a foot in the advertising industry.

  3. This new duel/dual commercial concept is a little bizarre, but then again, both of these companies have a reputation for basically doing whatever they want in regards to marketing. Mountain Dew had the “puppy monkey baby” ad a couple years ago and that was also bizarre and creepy in its own way. Your section abut how internet creators are creating their own success now instead of waiting on a platform like the Doritos submission contest is a spot on observation. The amateur creators are having a harder time pushing their ideas and content when an internet celebrity is able to produce a high-scoring ad with the help of a production crew and driving traffic to their ads.The ad features Morgan Freeman and Peter Dinklage who are iconic actors, but not the first names that pop into my head if these two companies are trying to court Millennials and Gen Z while also using a featured verse from a few years back by Busta Rhymes. This advertisement will have a successful short term impact on sales and the image of the company, but it won’t be sustainable. Critics will call Mountain Dew Ice a ripoff of Sprite, which is what it looks like and that is probably part of the reason that they had Morgan Freeman dancing around, in order to distract from the details of the product. If Doritos and Mountain Dew can consistently create joint advertisements, or if this sparks a movement into more companies doing joint advertisements for prime-time, then this commercial and concept will have much more impact than I first thought. I enjoyed reading your post and the trip down memory lane while watching the older Doritos commercials!

    • I definitely agree that Morgan Freeman and Peter Dinklage are strange actors to be cast for the roles in this ad. I understand the references that the ad created while using them, but at the same time, you’re right– the two aren’t exactly the first names to pop into my head when I think about the products. Don’t get me wrong, I love both of them, but bring us Shaun White for this type of ad… that would make way more sense.

  4. I feel that Doritos new approach to handling their advertisements will be effective enough, but will not generate the same type of consumer bond as their “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign. The consumer-generated commercials created a unique bond and brand name of Doritos to the public. These fan made commercials stood out from the plethora of various other standard commercials. They showcases Doritos creativity and “care” for their consumers, while also generating advertisement throughout the campaign submission period. With the decision to end their “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign, Doritos is left with choosing standard, quid pro quo techniques of using popular social figures to garnish attention, such as their 2018 commercial. Of course, this approach can also be successful, but I feel it is much more transparent and inorganically constructed than the consumer-generated commercials. All in all, I feel their new campaigns and advertising techniques will be successful, but will not ever be quite as unique as their “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign. My favorite commercial is the 2009 “Free Doritos” where the guy smashes the vending machine with his crystal ball. I would love to see some form of the idea brought back, as their argument for suspending the campaign is the antithesis of the campaign itself. I feel that with more individuals than ever on social media platforms, a consumer-generated campaign would hold even better ground than before, and reconnect that unique bond between brand and consumer.

  5. I have always loved the Doritos commercials, especially the one with the pug because pugs are my absolute favorite breed of dog. I think that both businesses are fairly successful and might have enough room for error if the combined advertisement doesn’t work out. Doritos and Mountain Dew are both well known brands and don’t have much to lose in my opinion. I think it’s good that they are trying something new like this, it benefits both brands in the long run. It was smart of them to combine the commercial with two well known actors, one being from Game of Thrones and the other being Morgan Freeman. Who doesn’t love Morgan Freeman, I mean his voice is like God. I love the advertising that Doritos does, except the one with the puppy monkey baby last year, that was a bit freaky. Although you do have to take into account that most, if not all of their commercials are extremely memorable, looking back you remember the majority of the Dorito’s commercials you see even if it was from 4 years ago. Obviously they must be doing something right. They are maintaining the public’s interest and are an extremely successful business. Mountain Dew is the same way, a good yet extremely bad for you soda that America knows very well.

  6. I definitely loved this years Doritos commercial and the Mountain Dew one too. Although the Doritos one is a little different from normal, it still caught my attention and it stood out to me! It was actually one of my favorites. Although they are two completely different brands, they are still both doing a good job at benefiting each other and grasping the audiences attention by using those actors, especially Morgan Freeman and then the dance moves and songs that went along with it. I thought it was successful and a good one.

  7. The new approach towards advertising Doritos is, like many others have mentioned, a pretty strange concept to me. It is understandable to a degree why Doritos pulled the long-running contest, but I also find a few flaws with the reasoning: first, I feel as though the contest is something that would truly get consumers engaged. Perhaps I am reaching with that argument, but to me, it seems like giving consumers a competitive opportunity would only drive sales and engagement up more than combining two products in a commercial that enthusiastic consumers no longer have an input on. On another hand, the “Gen Z is able to do it on their own” argument is correct in some ways, but is largely false in others. Consider all of the viral sensations you know that started from the bottom and rose their way up through platforms such as YouTube or Vine– a large majority of those stars are white, already well-off individuals. While there are definitely instances of POC rising to internet fame, it is far less heard of, and eliminating these competitions takes away yet another opportunity for their art to be seen and flourish.
    Back to IMC, though. The two products themselves, especially Doritos, are known for their sometimes strange, but always funny commercials. Surely those aspect won’t be taken with the combination of products into one ad, but it is unlikely to be able to fit the amount of humor and catchiness into a combined ad versus two singular ads for the individual products. Truthfully, looking back on the commercials during this year’s Super Bowl, if not for this assignment I would not have recalled what products were being advertised with this particular one. All I would be able to say about it was that everyone’s favorite, Tyrion Lannister, made a cameo… and thank god we didn’t have to deal with Cersei along with him.

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