Millions of Doritos bags have started featuring the faces and stories of good deed doers, as part of a joint effort between Frito-Lay and Dosomething.org.
They are the stories of 17 people—all under the age of 25—who have performed social and charitable work in their communities. They are also this year’s winners of $200,000 in grants, awarded by Dosomething.org, which focuses on teenagers. The winners will use the money for projects such as building new health clinics and convincing others to become bone marrow donors, said Nancy Lublin, CEO of Dosomething.org.
One story that ran on a Doritos package shows 19-year-old Chad Bullock of North Carolina with the title, “anti-smoking activist” below his name. Text reads: “Chad grew up in tobacco country. After losing family members to lung cancer, he became an anti-tobacco activist and a consultant for youth advocacy and tobacco prevention.” Tagline: “Doritos recognizes those who do something.”
“What we love about this campaign is that it’s not just slapping a ribbon on the front of a box. The consumer actually learns something—about the kid, about t he cause, about Dosomething.org and about what Doritos stands for,” Lublin said.
Frito-Lay, which owns the Doritos brand, has undertaken similar packaging initiatives before. In April 2007, the company featured the winners of Dosomething.org’s Br!ck Awards for social change on packages of Doritos.
This year’s effort is not supported by TV ads. Last year, Frito-Lay spent $21 million advertising the Doritos brand, excluding online, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Through Sept. of this year, it spent $14 million.
Lynn Dornblaser, new products expert at Mintel, Chicago, said such marketing ploys serve to engage the consumer with the brand. In Doritos’ case, “you see the picture of the girl [on the bag], you read her story, and you think, ‘I know people like that. That’s really cool. I really agree with what you’re doing.’ Or, ‘I might buy this as opposed to another brand.'”