Doritos goes down the DIY route

Challenge: Research in 2007 highlighted that Doritos' 18 to 24 target audience felt the brand had lost its bold, distinctive edge. Our marketing challenge was to turn brand apathy into advocacy.

Client: Walkers Snack Foods
Agency: OMD UK
Lead planners: Sam d'Amato and Pauline Kho

We needed to inspire participation, create conversation and rebuild a brand identity in the minds of our target group.

We embraced the insight that our target audience looks to its peers, communities and influencers to decide what is cool. We felt the standard fast-moving consumer goods TV approach would not work, rather we needed to pull our target consumers together. Our strategy was to fuel our consumers' creativity by giving them the reins, making them both our creative and media agency. We enabled them to make the ad and gave them the tools to champion the idea among our wider Doritos audience. The campaign began with influencers: people with a passion for art, film and design, who used the ads they created to inspire the masses to take part. From here, we enabled people to decide as a community what Doritos' communications should be like.

First, we used creative press, direct marketing and community websites, such as Pagii and Freewebs, to invite our influencers to get involved. As the first wave of films populated our site, buzz ignited across creative blogs and profile pages. We then invested in a heavier online presence across video and social media sites. With the wider audience now inspired, entry and participation levels went through the roof. Across Facebook, Yahoo, MSN and mobile platforms, the Doritos campaign became a big discussion topic. Finalists created their own blogs and ran local PR campaigns to win vital votes. The winning ad that the community eventually chose was aired as a solus spot on ITV1 and online, as well as being transmitted into outer space via satellite.

The campaign delivered 1,300 consumer-made ad entries. With 890,000 views, it became the second-most viewed YouTube sponsor channel. We generated more than 15,000 fans on Facebook and, in just two weeks, amassed 10,400 votes for the five shortlisted ads.

Sam d'Amato, associate strategy director, OMD UK

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