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How a Baby Dragon and Clever Hashtag Ignited Sales of Heat Wave, a New Doritos U.K. Line

Credit: Twitter

Last spring, PepsiCo's snack brand, Doritos, rolled out a limited-edition line of chips in the U.K. featuring spicy-hot chili flavors. One of the reasons people come to Twitter is to follow and interact with celebrities, and to capitalize on that mindset, the Doritos U.K. team created its own "celebrity"—a funny, adorable, fire-breathing Baby Dragon—to represent the new extra-hot Doritos flavors.

To introduce the Heat Wave line, advertising agency AMV BBDO created the Heatburst campaign, featuring an animatronic baby dragon and the hashtag, #HeatWillCome. An initial TV ad introduced Baby Dragon and his new owner, and a subsequent digital strategy amplified and continued the story by using the character, the #BabyDragon hashtag and Twitter responses to interact with brands and celebrities.

"Partnering with Twitter at an early stage enabled us to really bring campaign to life on the platform, making the most of all the different native functionalities and formats available," said Zoe Plummer, Doritos UK digital lead. "The campaign has performed exceptionally well and has been held up within PepsiCo as best in class."

By partnering with Twitter, the Doritos U.K. team reached consumers aged 16 to 30 with a series of quirky, funny videos in which Baby Dragon innocently ignites virtually everything around him, including a movie theater and a miniature golf course. Doritos U.K. also leveraged Twitter's range of video and creative formats, such as branded emojis, GIFs, and conversational video. One Twitter video featured behind-the-scenes footage of Baby Dragon on the set of his big TV commercial shoot.

Baby Dragon became a character in his own right, inserting himself into current events and pop-culture moments to keep the new flavors, and the Doritos brand, top of mind. Whenever Baby Dragon popped up in the Twitter timeline, there was an element of discovery and shareable content for fans. For example, on National Chipotle Day, a Tweet featured Baby Dragon getting ready for a star appearance with the headline, "When you have a national day named after your fave Doritos Heatburst flavor." Another example: Ed Sheeran got a shout-out from Baby Dragon after he sang about Doritos and wine in his hit "Galway Girl."

Doritos U.K.'s #HeatWillCome campaign was instrumental in generating a whopping £3 million in U.K. sales (about $3.84 million U.S.) during the product's first three months on the market and double-digit value growth across the entire Doritos U.K. brand portfolio.

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Twitter is what’s happening in the world and what people are talking about right now. From breaking news and entertainment to sports, politics, and everyday interests, see every side of the story. Join the open conversation. Watch live streaming events. Available in more than 40 languages around the world, the service can be accessed via twitter.com, an array of mobile devices, and SMS. For more information, please visit about.twitter.com, follow @Twitter, and download both the Twitter and Periscope apps at twitter.com/download and periscope.tv.
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