Doritos gatecrashes Super Bowl 48

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We predicted a Super Bowl ambush, and Doritos delivered. As did the Seahawks.

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The beers will still be flowing over in Seattle, as the Seahawks swooped on their first ever NFL title with a 43-8 hammering of the Denver Broncos, but the ad men at Doritos will also be celebrating pulling off a marketing coup inside MetLife Stadium.

As Seattle added the extra point to Marshawn Lynch’s second quarter touchdown, a group of orange-clad supporters was clearly visible. To the untrained eye, it would have been written-off as a group of (presumably annoyed) Broncos fans. In truth, it was a group of people shaped as a Doritos chip.

doritos
Pic: The Drum

On Friday, we spoke about ambush marketing and how brands across the States will be looking to capitalise on an event watched by an estimated 1bn people in more than 180 counties. What we didn’t foresee was an in-stadium stunt that managed to bypass the NFL’s stringent rules on stadium advertising. This isn’t the Premier League, where pitch-side marketing is common. The NFL has tight controls over advertising messages at pitch level and so for Doritos, getting a presence behind one of the goals was no easy task.

We’ve seen stunts like this before. At the 2010 World Cup, a Dutch brewery paid for a group of attractive blondes to wear skimpy orange outfits at the Netherlands v Denmark game in Johannesburg. The girls were picked up by TV cameras before they were eventually ejected.

But back to the Super Bowl – who else was grabbing the highlights?

Well, the chaps at Budweiser will be counting the return on their ad spend as they bought up 18% of the airtime – much of that to show a guy playing table tennis with Arnold Schwarzenegger as part of their #UpForWhatever campaign.

JCPenney was the talk of Twitter, thanks to a series of incomprehensible tweets:

 

 

JCP later blamed this on the Tweeter wearing mittens. It was clever, clearly trying to play on the notion of a ‘cold weather’ Super Bowl (even if the snow failed to materialise), and it got the brand plenty of coverage.

 

In the UK, Channel 4 will be incurring the wrath of Britain’s managers with its Super Sickie campaign, which ran in the weeks leading up to the big event to encourage UK audiences to stay up into the early hours.

But my personal favourite comes from Duracell. The battery manufacturer’s ‘Trust the power within’ campaign, featuring Seattle’s deaf full-back Derrick Coleman, is one that really gets the big-game emotions running.

Don’t forget to check out our top five ambush marketing tips.

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