Four months after Fox abruptly canceled his six-week-old nighttime talk show, Chevy Chase shows up at the Super Bowl for some self-deprecation. This BBDO spot is a play on the 1993 ad "Steam Roller," in which Chase heroically rescues a bag of Doritos Tortilla Thins. The new version opens similarly but is quickly derailed by network suits. Ad Age ad reviewer Bob Garfield liked the result:
"Tough year," he says, winningly acknowledging his talkshow humiliation. Brave. Sporting. Cute. Also diverting, especially (sigh) from brand benefits, which are not discussed.
PepsiCo's Frito-Lay introduced Doritos Tortilla Thins in spring 1993 with a $100 million marketing blast, twice its budget for any new product before, The New York Times reported:
"We're pulling out all the stops," said Stephen Liguori, Frito-Lay's vice president of brand marketing. .... The Doritos Tortilla Thins introduction, which follows strong sales results in a four-month test in Tulsa, Okla., and Omaha, will carry the theme "America, your chip has come in." Much of the initial bombardment will center on movie imagery, from Frito-Lay buying its first commercials ever during ABC's telecast of the Academy Awards to posters mimicking hyperbolic film ads .... The goal is for Doritos Tortilla Thins to be to Doritos, which are thicker and smaller than the new variety, what Levi's Loose Jeans are to Levi's 501 Jeans -- in other words, to appeal to older baby-boomers who have outgrown the regular product.
Frito-Lay hired Chase to endorse the product that summer in a deal Ad Age valued at $3 million. His first ad, the aforementioned "Steam Roller," replaced "America, your chip has come in" with "Grab 'em." Ironically, it was Chase's doomed late-night show that lured him to the gig:
Jay Coleman, the president of EMCI Ltd. in Stamford, Conn., an entertainment marketing company that brought Mr. Chase and Frito-Lay together, acknowledged that one reason Mr. Chase had decided to become a spokesman after years of turning down offers was his talk show. "You want maximum visibility," he said.
Doritos employed Jay Leno, a more enduring late-night host, from 1986 to 1990. It returned to the Super Bowl with more fallen celebrities in 1995 ("Mario Cuomo and Ann Richards").
Director: Joe Pytka. Creative director/copywriter: Michael Patti. Creative director/art director: Don Schneider.
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