Doritos Crash the Super Bowl Case Study

Background Of “Crash the Super Bowl”

Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” was an ad platform designed to promote Doritos brand as well as well as drive consumer ingenuity. In “Crash the Super Bowl” fans create and submit their own Doritos ads. Doritos then takes the top five submissions and debuts them in the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is a prime venue for companies to advertise their products. The Super Bowl attracts millions of viewers around the U.S. and around the globe. This means that the commercials showed are shown to millions of people. Super Bowl commercials slots are coveted and advertisers put out their most ingenious ads that hope to attract new consumers.  Doritos decided to let their fans be creative and have the chance to win some serious money. Doritos lets fans vote for their favorite ad that was submitted by another fan and the winner of the fan vote gets a grand sum of 1 million dollars. Not only do the winners get the cash prize but they are also given a contractor’s job at Universal Pictures for a full year. Second and third place winners are given $600,000 and $400,000 prizes respectfully.

Doritos’ “Crash the Super Bowl” ad campaign has been running since 2006. The first campaign received 1,065 ad submissions. The director of each ad finalist received $10,000 and a trip for two to Detroit to watch the super bowl. Since 2006 the ad campaign has been run every year and the stakes kept getting higher and higher. Today, Doritos offers significantly larger cash prizes as well as a dream job at Universal Studios.

Cost of Campaign

Despite the massive operation Doritos runs every year, the cost for them has been relatively cheap. Doritos opened up an entirely new website for their “Crash the Super Bowl” titled The grand prize offered to the winner is able to draw thousands of contestants. Therefore, Doritos does not have to heavily advertise the contest. The prospect of winning a million dollars and receiving a one-year job at Universal Pictures attracts a lot of contestants. In essence, the grand prize sells itself. In total, the overall cost of the campaign cost Doritos $6,125,000. Respectfully, this is a lot of money, however to the Doritos Company the cost is very little. In comparison, Doritos has spent a total of $118 million through July of this year in other advertising. However in 2008, Doritos spent a total of $146 million last year in their advertising ventures. In retrospect, the amount of money Doritos spends each year for “Crash the Super Bowl” is not too much considering how much they spend in total each year.

Doritos each year launches the ad campaign and receives thousands of submissions to sift through. The sheer volume of submissions shows that there is an extremely large audience. The cost to Doritos has been minimal and the turnout for submission has been quite impressive. The project was designed to increase the exposure Doritos receives during the Super Bowl and since 2006 it has been a huge success.

Success Of Campaign

This campaign was an enormous success for the company and was very well thought out. There were a few risks involved such as getting a reputation for ammetuer commercials and also spending millions of dollars to advertise this consumer-made commercial and having it be unsuccessful. Overall, the public loves to get involved and collaborate with the company to feel like they have an input and feel acknowledged, whether it’s through creating a commercial or voting online. In 2009, the “Free Doritos” commercial took the title of the number one commercial which the company was aiming to do by knocking out Budweiser. This caught the attention of major news companies who then put out articles about it. By doing this, it drew more attention to the company and commercial itself which was the goal. There was much praise towards the company for thinking of the idea to incorporate the consumers in one of the biggest airing commercials of the year. Other major PR companies have talked about what Doritos did and how they went about this bold move. There was admiration for their company to even think of something like this with such a huge outcome. Their goal was to make 600 million impressions and just in the first year running this contest, they doubled that goal. This just shows how much consumers want to get involved, especially considering they had over 1,900 commercial submissions.


These commercials have made an already successful company, even more successful. Doritos has stated that after these consumer-made commercials started airing, the company’s yearly sales were significantly higher. The amount of website visitors were also higher just after one year of starting this campaign. It was one of the top blogged about commercials for the Superbowl, as well as tweeted. The company originally did have to spend a good amount of money just to get the campaign out there to the consumers but it definitely paid off in the end. Many of these commercials are memorable and people love to watch them which is why Doritos continues this campaign even though it’s almost 10 years old. Some professionals think that the reason they are so successful is because they are more relatable to the viewers than some of the overly produced commercials. This in itself is a victory for Doritos since people are starting to become more drawn to it due to its consumer-produced backgrounds. Also, people love the fact that they get to vote for the commercials to have a say in it, instead of the company choosing.

Personal Evaluation

We believe the campaign by Doritos was a very successful one.  Not only did Doritos not spend much money on the entire campaign, but the views on their Youtube channel they received were tremendous.  By getting the consumers themselves to participate in the campaign, Doritos was able to see much more interaction with the people that buy their products.  The number of submissions alone speaks to the magnitude of the campaign.  We believe it is safe to say that “Crash the Super Bowl” shed a new and improved light on Doritos.  Instead of seeming like a company that doesn’t care about the consumer and just tries to make their snack look appetizing in commercials, they project the feeling that they care about their customers.  Not only has Doritos seen a great amount of participation, but the commercials have been pretty funny as well.  For eight years now Doritos has been in the conversation for funniest Super Bowl ad.  From 2006-2013 they were considered the king of Super Bowl commercials, taking home the Best Ad prize each year until being dethroned by Budweiser.  As consumers ourselves of Doritos, we look forward to seeing the new commercials put out every year.  Whether it’s a flying pigs and kids riding dogs like horses, or a man in tutu and hungry pug.  The company always gets new, ridiculous ideas and commercials every year.  And the fact we even remember those those commercials is proof that their ads stick.





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