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Super Bowl

Doritos' Crash the Super Bowl Ad Contest Goes Global

Open To People In 46 Countries, Follows Global Marketing Consolidation

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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.

Crash the Super Bowl contest
Crash the Super Bowl contest

In the previous seven years, the user-generated ad contest had only been open to U.S. consumers. By making the program international, Doritos will likely get more high-quality submissions. It also means the program's marketing budget will increase, with PepsiCo using paid digital media and PR to promote the contest across the globe. Plans include outreach at film festivals and sporting events, as well as collaborations with universities that specialize in creativity, executives said.

"Great content comes from anywhere," said Ram Krishnan, VP-marketing for PepsiCo's Frito-Lay North America.

The core elements of the program remain similar to previous years. The brand will air two user-generated spots during the Super Bowl: one selected by fan votes and the other by the Doritos marketing team. The creators of the two winning ads will get the chance to work on the set of the upcoming movie "Marvel's The Avengers: Age of Ultron." Last year, the brand had a tie-in with the "Transformers" movie franchise.

But there are some notable changes, including severing ties with the USA Today Ad Meter. 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. 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 Crash's two-year streak of winning the ad meter.

Is Doritos lowering the bar? Mr. Krishnan said no. Rather, he said the brand was moving away from the ad meter because it carries less relevance overseas.

The brand, which last year used a Facebook app as the contest hub, plans to extend the contest platform across multiple social media sites, including YouTube. Doritos is also considering using Twitter. Users can begin entering ads on Oct. 8. The long lead time provides Doritos what has been its secret weapon with Crash -- a multi-month consumer-engagement period.

The contest's international expansion follows recent Doritos moves to consolidate marketing efforts globally. For instance, the brand earlier this year redesigned its packaging to give it a more consistent look across the world, while launching its first global campaign, "For the Bold," which was handled by incumbent agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

Mr. Krishnan said Doritos is also working to create a single Facebook site for the brand, moving away from its market-by-market approach.

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