Doritos Grabs Early Lead in Consumer-Generated Big Game Ads

When I think of the Big Game I think of three things — pigs in a blanket, $5.00 squares, and big-budget TV ads. And while many eyes are on what Bob Parsons is go-daddy go-ing to do this year, I am most fascinated by the new consumer-generated campaigns from Doritos, Chevrolet and the NFL itself. These new campaigns are turning over the advertising reigns to consumers; I can’t help but wonder whether marketers are tapping into the wisdom of the crowds, or are simply hoping that consumers can succeed where their agencies could not.

The three companies have taken notably different approaches, with each strategy yielding different outcomes. Here are my early reviews of each campaign:

    "¢ The NFL’s "Best Big Game Commercial Ever. Seriously." promotion attracted only 2% of the 5 million people who visited in the first two weeks of January. Gino’s audition is great, but the NFL left the audience on the table on this one. Seriously.

    "¢ Doritos’ all-online "Crash the Big Game" contest encouraged consumers to produce, submit, and vote on their favorite spots. More than 125,000 people visited the site during the first two weeks of January, 10 times as many people than visited Kudos to Doritos, this promotion sets the standard for how to get the most out of Big Game spending.

    "¢ The "Chevy Big Game College Ad Challenge" just launched, but the early signs are that online interest in the promotion is lagging. Virtually no one in our consumer panel has visited the CBS or Chevy micro-sites thus far in January. Without an online community surrounding the promotion, it will be hard for Chevy to match Doritos.

So Doritos is the clear pre-game winner thus far. Perhaps Doritos has cracked the code on how to use consumer-generated commercials to stay strong amongst all the ad hype by having regular people snack strong on their self-made commercials and, hopefully, their chips. Stay tuned for our post-game report on Big Game advertising where we will report on consumers’ favorite ads and which sites garnered the most attention following the big game.

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