Even though “Fashionista Daddy” drew plenty of buzz last Super Bowl season, Ram Krishnan, vp of marketing at Frito-Lay, is thinking more “Gangnam Style” for his Doritos brand’s upcoming big game campaign.
The brand is going global for the first time with its eighth annual Crash the Super Bowl video contest, accepting submissions from Texarkana to Tokyo starting Oct. 8.
Consumers can submit fun spots in hopes of landing one of Doritos’ two Super Bowl XLVIII slots, which will pay the winners $1 million apiece—and afford them the chance to work on the next Avengers movie with director Stan Lee.
Krishnan aims to bolster Doritos—a $2 billion brand in the U.S.—to the level of sister chip Lays, which takes a much bigger bite out of the worldwide snacks market.
His game plan: to centralize Doritos’ worldwide Facebook presence for arguably its biggest yearly campaign.
What can Crash the Super Bowl do for the brand overseas?
You think about the music 19-year-olds are into, the movies they watch, the video games they play—it all transfers across geographies. There is no demarcation line. So it made a lot of sense to do the global campaign. The best content can come from anywhere. If you would’ve told me last year about this big breakout star Psy (of Gangnam Style fame) from South Korea, I probably would have said, “No way.” We are interested in seeing great content from different geographies.
In past years, a lot of the best submissions relied on humor. But collectively, Americans have different senses of humor than Europeans or Asians, and vice versa. Are you concerned about jokes getting lost in translation?
We are going to have a great learning experience. But if you think about what makes a viral video on YouTube, it seems to translate across geographies. I think there are nuances to how we react to humor. But we are hoping the unifying trend here is what the brand stands for.
You will no longer give away prizes based on USA Today Meter results. Instead, Doritos will tally the votes on its own microsite. Why the change?
We have a great relationship with the USA Today Ad Meter. By taking the program outside the U.S., the [ad meter] becomes less relevant. We wanted to make sure that we keep the [voting] open to all consumers.
How will you tackle a global Facebook page for Doritos?
Right now, we have brand pages spread across different geographies. But our [target] consumer is a 19-year-old who knows no geographical boundaries. With one Doritos Facebook global page, the message is customized to geography. If you are coming in from Turkey, the page will be in Turkish—though it lets us have conversations and transfer content from one [region] to another.
How are you making it all happen from a tech standpoint?
We are working [directly] with Facebook to do that.
With all the work going on with Facebook, why use a microsite as the “Crash” hub instead of a Facebook app—which you used last year?
It’s going to have functionalities where you have the same experience no matter where you are coming from—whether it’s Facebook or YouTube. We are not restricting to one platform. We are broadening it.
Will the online push rely more on traditional display promos or social media ads?
We are looking at all of that stuff. It depends on the specific geographies and their mediums for engaging with consumers. The next several weeks will be a key phase because we want to get as many interesting submissions as possible.