Frito-Lay Likes the Data From Doritos’ ‘Crash the Super Bowl’

Facebook-anchored effort hits 100 million views

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Doritos’ decision to move its seventh annual "Crash the Super Bowl" campaign to Facebook proved to be a winner. The Frito-Lay brand—which had anchored the effort on a microsite in years past—drew nearly 100 million views for the five finalist videos in the user-generated contest, breaking its record.

“Almost every single metric of the program exceeded what we achieved during the last six years,” Ram Krishnan, vp of marketing at Frito-Lay, told Adweek. Krishnan said Facebook’s social nature helped the videos go viral. “That’s the whole reason why we switched," he said. "People like to talk about the videos, and that reaches their circle of friends.”

What’s more, visits to its Facebook app page were up 100 percent compared to last year on the microsite, said Dena von Werssowetz, Frito-Lay marketing manager. Doritos’ Facebook fans increased substantially, von Werssowetz suggested, eclipsing the 4 million mark for the first time on the social site.

Her brand ran the full gamut of Facebook adsReach Block, Marketplace, Sponsored Stories and Promoted Posts—to drive interest in the “Crash” initiative. (A spend figure wasn't disclosed.) Around 3,500 videos were submitted from Oct. 8 through Nov. 16, 2012, via the brand’s Facebook app.

“I watched every single one of the submissions that came through,” von Werssowetz said.

Jeff Klein, senior marketing director for Frito-Lay, said the Facebook game plan was partly developed at the social giant’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., months ago. “We kicked this off not just with Facebook’s sales team,” he explained, “but with their strategy team. We had a hackathon on-site to pull this off.”

As in previous years, "Crash the Super Bowl" invited consumers to create 30-second spots with the promise that two winning submissions would run during the Super Bowl. Five finalists were posted on Facebook in early January, and the two spots with the most views would make the big game. Of the two, the one that ranked highest on the USA Today Ad Meter would get the opportunity to work with ultra-successful Hollywood director Michael Bay.

The ad creators were eligible to win cash if their commercial ranked among the top three finishers on the Ad Meter. (Prizes offered: $1 million for first place, $600,000 for second place and $400,000 for third place.) “Fashionista Dad” finished fourth on the meter for Doritos, while the other spot, “Goat 4 Sale,” came in seventh.

Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, Ketchum and Grow contributed work to the campaign. The Frito-Lay marketing team believes the creative for the spots was the best in the contest’s long run.

“We probably wouldn’t have bought the scripts that made the Super Bowl,” Klein said, noting their offbeat nature might not "work" on paper. “We probably wouldn’t have bought the ‘Goat’ script."

And it sounds likely that Doritos will run the "Crash" initiative again next year. "This is the best amplification of our brand narrative," Klein said. "We just continue to be blown away by the creativity of Doritos fans.”

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.