Doritos, Much go social for big reach

The chip brand is along for the ride with title sponsorship of MuchMusic's social-media oriented VJ 2.0 search.

The MuchMusic VJ search never fails to generate excitement among the leagues of young hopefuls who want to interview rock stars for a living, and this year has been no exception.

With Doritos’ Collisions on board as title sponsor, the MuchMusic VJ 2.0 search attracted 4,000 initial entrants to the competition, which is now in the middle of its multi-phase selection process. Since it launched in early September, has registered 559,874 total unique visitors to its Doritos-branded VJ 2.0 website and almost 27 million page views (all statistics Google Analytics).

Much and Doritos took a completely different approach to the structure of the contest and its promotion this year, Brad Schwartz, senior VP and GM, Much MTV Group, told MiC. The only traditional media promotion was an on-air and online buy on MuchMusic and – handled by OMD, which also facilitated the sponsorship deal – and the rest of the promotion is entirely social media-based, as is the contest itself. Creative was handled in-house at Much, with oversight by Frito-Lay AOR BBDO.

Instead of the reality show format of 2006, this year contestants have to earn their place in the competition by setting up profiles, including a video audition, on and then engaging their social networks to gather fans, feedback and ratings. The goal was to reach MuchMusic fans via the communications media they use today and also, to create a viral effect via the fact that contestants had to use their own social networks to earn votes, said Schwartz. Traditional media buys are still vital to this type of effort to kick things off, he added, but they also felt it was important to leave the rest up to Much’s tech-savvy 12-to-34 target demographic to spread the word among themselves.

‘It’s an amazing campaign that really impacts our viewers everywhere they’re leading their lives right now,’ said Schwartz. ‘Today, because of the communication explosion that young people are living in, if you’re not becoming part of their vocabulary, you’re not doing a good job of communicating your brand statement and your product to them.’

The winner of the contest will be chosen in early December.