Ore-Ida made ‘Tot-Protecting Pants’ for Napoleon Dynamite (and maybe you, too)

Jon Heder reprises his classic character 20 years later in a spot directed by Aaron Ruell, who played Kip

Published On
Jun 17, 2024

Editor's Pick

Ore-Ida invented the tater tot back in 1953. So, you can imagine how bittersweet it must have been for the company to see its beloved potato nuggets both celebrated and then unceremoniously crushed in the 2004 movie “Napoleon Dynamite.”

Well, now the brand is putting things right by inventing “Tot-Protecting Pants,” a pair of trousers that features a durable, food-safe pocket to protect your tots from any external forces that might harm them. And none other than Napoleon himself, Jon Heder, has reprised his character to promote the gag item—available today, while supplies last, at protectyourtatertots.com.

From 2016: Burger King reunites ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ stars in ad for cheesy tots

In the spot above, Heder slips right back into Napoleon-speak. And as a nice added touch, the ad was directed by Aaron Ruell, who played Kip Dynamite in the movie—and later moved on to successful career in commercial directing.

“The character of Napoleon and myself share a lot of similar characteristics, such as drawing skills and mouth-breathing proficiency, but none so strong as our love of tots,” Heder said in a statement. “But when my tots get crushed, a little part of my soul gets crushed as well. And that’s why I’m excited and proud to be a part of Ore-Ida’s movement to stop tot-crushing in its tracks—hopefully these pants keep everyone’s favorite potato nuggets safe, warm and flippin’ crispy.”

A closeup of the Tot-Protecting Pants

Ore-Ida worked with Searchlight Pictures, the studio behind the film, on the partnership. The idea for the pants came from PR agency Alison Brod Marketing Communications. The Kitchen was the lead creative agency, and Carat was the media agency. Hulu, which has the streaming rights to “Napoleon Dynamite,” also has its logo of some of the materials.

“For over 70 years, Ore-Ida has prided itself on delivering crispy and fluffy potatoes every time,” said Jackie Britva, senior brand manager for Ore-Ida at The Kraft Heinz Company. “With June marking the film’s 20th anniversary, we knew it was the perfect time for Ore-Ida to solve Napoleon’s tot-tastrophe in a way only the inventor of tater tots could.”

The activation follows the rollout of updated packaging and logos for Ore-Ida last year, along with an ad campaign from Johannes Leonardo themed “Deliciously Predictable”—the brand’s first new campaign since 2018.

Popular Creativity stories from Ad Age:

Sign up for our daily Creativity newsletter to see the best stories of the day.


Jun 17, 2024
Client :
Agency :
The Kitchen
Public Relations Agency :
Alison Brod Marketing + Communications
Media Agency :

Need a credit fix? Contact the Creativity Editors

Project Type