Doritos scours the world for people willing to do free commercials for them


Apparently, the United States is running out of suckers. So Doritos is going global to find more people to do television commercials for them – for free.

“Doritos’ ‘Crash the Super Bowl’ is going global, with the PepsiCo brand opening the annual contest to people in all 46 countries where the chips are sold,” Advertising Age reported September 12.

In the previous seven years, the user-generated ad contest had only been open to U.S. consumers… Plans [to promote the contest across the globe] include outreach at film festivals and sporting events, as well as collaborations with universities that specialize in creativity, executives said.

Rationale or excuse?

Also unlike the previous seven years, Doritos is disassociating its cash prizes from winning commercials’ rankings on USA Today’s Ad Meter, where (American) consumers vote for the best Super Bowl commercials.

If you listen to Frito-Lay North America VP-marketing Ram Krishnan, both changes are because the domestic US market is ever so provincial, don’t you know. “Great content comes from anywhere,” he told AdAge. And besides, the USA Today Ad Meter is irrelevant overseas.

But some recent history tells a different story.

Running out of ‘great content’?

This year, by comparison, the content of their crowdsourced advertising wasn’t all that great.

Last year, the best ad failed to crack the top three in the USA Today meter. The spot, called “Fashionista Daddy,” finished fourth, while the second ad, “Goat 4 Sale,” placed seventh. The results broke [a] two-year streak of winning the ad meter.

Weeks before this year’s Super Bowl, Ad Age noted

Doritos’ seven-year-old “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign looks a little tired from some angles. Every year the PepsiCo brand rolls out a new contest gimmick to plug the consumer-generated ad contest, but every year the winning commercials seem to rely on the same lowbrow devices — including a plethora of pet tricks.

Last year, in the four weeks ending Jan. 29 — while “Crash” was being promoted — Doritos sales increased by 7.49%, slightly below the tortilla/tostada category average, according to SymphonyIRI. In the four-week period ending Feb. 26, Doritos sales grew by 5.45%, less than the 6.44% category growth.

Lower standards, cheaper prizes

In addition to lowering the bar by switching from Ad Meter scores to fan votes, they’re also lowering the cash value of the prizes.

In previous years, the brand gave away cash awards depending on how high winning entries scored on the meter. (Last year, for instance, the brand promised $1 million for an ad that secures the No. 1 spot on the meter, $600,000 for No. 2, and $400,000 for No. 3.)

This year prizes will be based on fan votes, with the top-vote getter earning $1 million and the runner-up receiving $50,000.

25 days to go

If you’re eager to give Doritos a produced 30-second commercial for free, you’d better start your cameras rolling. The contest opens for entries just 25 days from now. And it’ll be using a Facebook app, Twitter, YouTube and other social media to gin up, they hope, 46 times the competition.

You can submit your entry as early as October 8. Or, if you’re east of the International Date Line, October 9.

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