The DoorDash Super Bowl Sweepstakes: How the Campaign Unfolded

The brand announced the contest last month. Then the real work began.

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Delivery service DoorDash first shared the ambitious concept for its Super Bowl commercial in late January, unveiling in an ADWEEK exclusive its plan to deliver an item from every ad in the game to one lucky winner.

The audacity of the campaign—yes, that means giving away multiple cars and a $50,000 down payment on a new house, among other prizes—was matched only by the sheer volume of logistics it entailed.

For one, there are the legal considerations. DoorDash cannot, for various reasons, give away alcohol, insurance or sportsbook bets, according to its chief marketing officer Kofi Amoo-Gottfried.

But more pressing was the need to communicate with, and ideally get buy-in from, every other brand airing a Super Bowl commercial.

DoorDash had already secured support from about 20 brands prior to launching the campaign on Jan. 30, but in the two weeks between the announcement and the game, it needed to get in touch with the rest.

“It has been stressful,” said Amoo-Gottfried. “There is a lot of ambiguity. This is not one of those things where we know exactly what is going to happen every step of the way. We had to be malleable, because we were building this plane as we flew it.”

Getting brand buy-in

DoorDash does not technically need approval from the brands to send the sweepstakes winner a gift from those companies, according to Amoo-Gottfried. 

But it does need buy-in to feature the brands on its microsite, doordash-all-the-ads.com, as well as to involve them in social media promotions, which have been critical to building awareness for the campaign prior to the big game.

Amoo-Gottfried and the DoorDash team had hoped that the campaign and the buzz surrounding it would entice other brands to get involved, and it has. Immediately after the details of the sweepstakes emerged, interest from brands like Booking.com, Etsy and e.l.f. Cosmetics came pouring in. 

The buy-in from these brands allowed DoorDash to get more creative with the prizes, according to Amoo-Gottfried. For instance, Etsy prominently features cheese in its commercial, so the brand is giving away cheeseboards to the DoorDash winner.

Together, DoorDash and its creative agency Wieden+Kennedy dedicated a team of around 30 employees to sorting through the outreach, strategy, prizing and creative to navigate this two-week crunch. Crucially, the decision was made months ago to make the actual creative CGI so that it could be easily updated. 

Still, the high stakes of the spot and the down-to-the-wire nature of the concept have made it an intensive undertaking.

“The last two weeks have been frenetic, but it has been amazing to see these brands lean in and get creative with the prizing,” Amoo-Gottfried said. “We anticipated this, and what we hoped would happen has happened.”

Details of the sweepstakes

The creative, which aired in the fourth quarter of the game, prompted viewers to enter a code into a submission form on the microsite. 

The code appears at the beginning of the commercial, then stretches on into a massive string of dashed-together words. The difficulty of the keyword is part of the fun, although some pausing and rewinding will likely be involved.

The creative, narrated by actor Laurence Fishburne, cleverly plays on the dashes in the keyword string to underscore the DoorDash title. Another wry tie-in? Prior to the game, the company tracked which brands were participating and the gifts they were giving in an “ads to cart” section of its microsite.

The winner of the cart, whose total value is between $340,000 and and $480,000, will be chosen using a randomized selection process immediately after the submission window closes Sunday night, according to Amoo-Gottfried. 

By Monday morning, the winner will be notified of their good fortune. Depending on their preferences, DoorDash will either share their identity with the world or keep it private. If the former happens, DoorDash hopes to get even more exposure from the resulting hype.

The prizes—including an all-expense-paid trip for the winner and three of their friends, as well as an actual diamond, a 30-pound bucket of mayonnaise and a $100 gift card to rival delivery service Uber Eats—will also be delivered according to the preferences of the winner, according to Amoo-Gottfried. 

“They might not want five cars,” Amoo-Gottfried said. “They might just take one and get the rest in cash.”

For the latest Super Bowl 58 advertising news—who’s in, who’s out, teasers, full ads and more—check out ADWEEK’s Super Bowl 2024 Ad Tracker and the rest of our stories here. And join us on the evening of Feb. 11 for the best in-game coverage of the commercials.

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