Answer: Because $1Mil = A Lot of Chips

Question: Why does the Doritos Super Bowl Ad promotion continue to be effective?

In a time when the latest seems to be the greatest and what happened 10 minutes ago is old hat, Doritos seems to be doing the un-doable: creating a promotion tradition. And this year they’ve upped the ante in an un-ignorable way, building upon the success of previous years.

Entering its fifth year, Doritos is once again offering a big cash prize (a cool mil) to the winner of their Crash the Super Bowl contest. (Basic details: upload fun homemade commercial about Doritos, top 5 air during Big Game, if one comes in #1 in USA Today’s Ad Meter the day after the game, you are an instant millionaire.)

Now, there are a lot of “ifs” behind that million dollar purse. So why are people already fiendishly uploading videos to the Doritos’ promotion website? It works on a variety of levels, including:

  1. The One. (aka “I like it”)
    Everyone can have a great idea when it comes to advertising. (Having them frequently, on demand, within specified circumstances, etc. is what it takes to make it in the ad agency biz.) So this gives “everyman” that opp to get his or her big idea out there on a level playing field – or in this case, on the Doritos’ contest website.
  2. The Many. (aka “my friends like it”)
    Social media can foster the ultimate popularity contest – one that can give people validation of their thoughts, world-changing and miniscule. In this instance, that “big idea” that you had…the one you think every creative genius from Don Draper to Donny Deutsch wishes he’d come up with…can be thumbed up by throngs of eager web surfers. This gets the top 5 ideas to air on the Super Bowl – the holy grail of all things advertising.
  3. The World. (aka “everyone likes it!”)
    This is a fractured world, in terms of who is watching what form of entertainment and when. The Super Bowl – and its supporting commercials – is one of the few remaining “group-watched” events. Hard-core enthusiasts and partiers watch it live. Lots of others DVR it and watch it later. The ads are reported on by other media – from major outlets to bloggers – for days afterwards. And that leads to widespread chatter, visits to Youtube, a life beyond the first air date. That’s pretty darn awesome for all 5 who make it this far. Should one lucky contest entrant be the creative force behind the #1 ad, they get a million dollars to boot.

The truth behind this promotion’s success, however, is not solely that they’ve grown the prize to a million dollars. Doritos has done a kick-ass job of creating an expectancy around this opportunity – people drool for their chance in the spotlight as much as they drool for their favorite variety of the triangular treat. They differentiated themselves with it (again, comparable to their unique taste). They put the power in the hands of the people – exactly where they want their snacks.

A million bucks = a lot of chips… But if viral videos help promote Doritos addiction, it’s peanuts.

~ Denise Blasevick, CEO & @AdvertGirl, The S3 Agency

Denise Blasevick
Denise Blasevick

CEO @The S3 Agency

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