Doritos fans write the end

BBDO's Tim Welsh talks about the early response to Doritos' latest campaign.

Once again, Doritos is putting its fate in the hands of chip lovers, and exceeding expectations right out the gate. This time, the Frito Lay brand asked fans to complete a commercial that first aired during the Super Bowl. In the spot, two chip creators present flavours – Buffalo Wings N’ Ranch and Onion Rings N’ Ketchup – to their leader, but before she chooses one, the spot asks viewers to write their own ending and determine which flavour will come out victorious.

After the success of Guru and last year’s Viralocity, it was natural for Doritos to go the consumer-generated route again, but this time the brand decided to simplify it.

‘Writing breaks it down to its purest form, a really level playing field,’ says Tim Welsh, VP group account director at BBDO, noting that asking for a video can seem daunting to those without a good camera or film school credentials.

The new direction has already paid off. After receiving about 2,000 video entries last year, the goal this year was 6,000 entries, yet they received about 7,000 in the first week alone. To submit, Doritos lovers have been writing their endings and posting them on, after which they can share them via social media. The top 14 vote-getters will then be put to a panel comprised of a Doritos brand team member, an agency rep and the commercial’s directors, and the winning ad will be created and revealed on May 5 in grand style with MuchMusic and Astral (much like the reveals for Guru and Viralocity).

But the winners will get more than a few minutes of TV glory – they’ll also win $25,000 and 1% of future sales from their winning flavour, an element that’s being brought back from the Guru campaign.

‘We’re learned that 1% of sales generates a lot of buzz,’ says Haneen Khalil, marketing manager for Doritos. ‘We want them to want the flavour that survives to do well on the shelves. There’s a connection there, a partnership.’

And that partnership will be taken a step further. The winner will also become the first member of the Doritos ‘Think Tank’ – they’ll be flown to Toronto for three days to meet with the team, and also participate in monthly projects where they’ll weigh-in on brand decisions and share their perspectives on everything from new flavours to pop culture.

Along with BBDO and its offshoot Proximity, which created the website, OMD is handling media, Capital C designed the packaging and Fleishman-Hillard is handling PR.

From strategy magazine