Doritos Wins This Year’s Digital “Big Game”

Adam Deardurff, Senior Director, Strategy

There are many ways you can spend 30 seconds of your life. Take a selfie and upload it to social media or maybe more constructively, pay a bill online, for example.

There are also many ways you can spend almost $5 million. Buying an island in the Bahamas or a supercar like Floyd Mayweather’s Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita, come to mind.

Or… you could do both, and spend around $4.8 million on a 30-second spot at Super Bowl 50.

But, there’s a lot more to it than that. The commercials you see during the game are only one piece of complex plans that brands put into motion to get maximum value out of premium exposure.

Advertisers have fully embraced the second screen.
Mobile phones, tablets and streaming live events have made real-time conversations an integral part of the live viewing experience. For the second year, commercials are officially no longer one-sided messages, but the beginning of a digital stream of interactions between the brand and public, celebrities and other brands.

You were probably served teaser trailers or the actual ad on YouTube and across social media as soon as the new year hit. When it came to the live event, you could have followed conversation of one of the 27 different hashtags used in commercials or entered one of the 21 URLs served up. While we could argue for days about the best commercial, digitally, there is much more to talk about.

Commercials were added to home pages or custom websites experiences were Kia’s #addpizzazz sock style finder.

kia commercial ad

Squarespace introduced a Key and Peele streaming event that played the full course of the big game.

Brands fought for social good like Colgate’s pledge to save water or opted to #giveadamn by using Budweiser’s ride finder – where you could get a $15 Uber voucher.

And, of course, there were plenty of contests like Esurance’s hashtag to win $250k.

The real winner.
There was one brand that tackled digital from all sides and really hit a home run from start to finish – Doritos.

Doritos launched a groundbreaking campaign that crowd sourced user generated Super Bowl commercials in 2006. In an era where everything has to be new and campaigns may change annually, they have stood by their program for a decade and discovered new ways to leverage the content and support across channels.

There was much more to this year’s campaign than just finding the best entries. They were able to get the most out of each asset and engagement across channels.

A play-by-play breakdown.
The Crash, the Super Bowl website itself, simply runs the contest. And, in its 10th year, it has been fine tuned to do its job well. Entrants come from all over the globe, including one finalist this year from Australia.

While Axe and Mountain Dew’s commercials have nearly 10 million YouTube views, that number comes in at just half of Doritos’ three finalist videos combined – and the brand didn’t have to produce the creative.

The winner, Doritos Dogs, also became an opportunity for charitable tie-in, with the brand smartly donating $1 per Retweet to Pet Shelters Across America.

They were also able to have impact at the Super Bowl itself. Before the game even began, they gave away two free tickets to fans that were outside, creating a memorable “surprise and delight” moment.

In the stadium, Doritos was Periscoping throughout the venue. And, when the game concluded, they gave away 500 bags of Broncos Championship Doritos.

As if that weren’t enough to keep their social channels humming, they engaged via Twitter with other brands throughout the game, sharing real-time reactions and conversation about their advertisements. The witty and creative responses garnered hundreds of Retweets each.

They even took it so far as to set up their own Squarespace website - “under crunchstruction.”

doritos under crunchstruction website

Teeing up for next year.
At the end of the day, the commercials were entertaining, but the depth and breadth of engagement Doritos was able to facilitate made them a standout in digital execution for #SB50.

Hopefully, other brands will take a page out of their playbook – last football pun, we promise – to create fully-connected experiences for this month’s Oscars, the Summer Olympics and, of course, next year’s Big Game.




Adam Deardurff

Adam Deardurff Senior Director, Strategy