Doritos Invites Consumer Ads for Super Bowl

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

Frito-Lay is putting at least some of its Super Bowl advertising in consumers’ hands this year.

Yesterday Doritos launched a contest for consumers to create a 30-second spot to air during Super Bowl XLI on Feb. 4, 2007.

The winning ad will air unaltered and untagged during the game. It’s the only spot that Doritos will air during the Super Bowl, and its first appearance during the game since 2001. (No word yet on Frito-Lay’s other brands’ ad plans for the game.)

Entrants submit their videos online, from Oct. 2 through Dec. 1; Frito-Lay will pick five finalists to post at Doritos.com in January for a public vote. The top vote getter wins the airtime.

“In today’s increasingly reality-driven world, people are looking for new ways to interact with, help shape and even personalize what is important to them,” said Doritos VP-Marketig Ann Mukherjee in a statement.

“While we’ve had great success with star-studded Super Bowl commercials in years past, today we are most inspired by the people who love Doritos chips; this year, they’re telling us they want to be in control and we’re giving them that control on one of the world’s most watched events,” she said.

Millsport, Dallas, is lead agency on the contest for Plano, TX-based Frito-Lay. (The Marketing Arm division handles sports marketing for Frito-Lay.) Yahoo! Video hosts the contest for Frito-Lay, giving the snacks giant a ready-made audience of online video fans and wannabe filmmakers. Yahoo will help judge entries to choose the five finalists.

Doritos’ ad agency, San Francisco-based Goodby, Silverstein & Partners was instrumental in staging the campaign, from concept to Web site design (including the terse “creative brief” that gives entrants their marching orders) and judging. Was it hard for the agency to give up its chance to shoot a huge production number, as it has in years past? “They’ll be doing plenty of work throughout the year for us,” says Frito-Lay spokesperson Jared Doherty.

An on-pack, online instant-win overlay puts game codes on Doritos bags; players enter the codes online to win football-themed prize packages. TPN, Dallas, handles that game.

Doritos’ gamble could prove to be a smart bargain, swapping its 30-second slot (estimated at $2.5 million) for four months of hype online. Doritos has only run 10 ads during the Super Bowl; its most active stint was in the late 1990s, with high-profile spots starring Miss USA Ali Landry and, separately, actor Chevy Chase. Sister brands, primarily Lays, have taken the Super Bowl spotlight since then.

Chevrolet is hosting a similar contest for film students at 340 schools nationally, but with an important difference: Chevy’s ad agency, Campbell-Ewald, will produce Super Bowl TV spots from the winning idea (PROMO Xtra, Sept. 13, 2006). Frito-Lay leaves the camera in the hands of contestants—and leaves the final decision on which spot to run up to consumers.

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