Doritos target market is football fans
February 01, 2017 | Shares:

The Doritos Marketing Strategy That Went Down in Super Bowl History
4 min.

Superbowl day is almost upon us. It’s time for Patriots fans and Falcons fans to rejoice, and for everyone else to judge all the commercials.

Because we marketers all know that the real competition happens after game day. And when it comes to impeccable Super Bowl campaigns, Doritos marketing strategy has paved the way for companies to emulate.

For nearly a decade, they’ve had a spot-on Super Bowl marketing strategy that boosts engagement in a huge way.

Although Doritos may have moved onto other innovative commercial ideas, their legacy lives on through similar user-generated concepts.

Learn why their Super Bowl campaign was so successful time and time again, and inspired others to do the same.

2017 Super Bowl: How Intel Was Inspired By Doritos to Leverage UGC

For their 2017 Super Bowl ad, Intel has taken a page out of the Dorito playbook and teamed up with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on an innovate user-generated content commercial.

The premise is simple. Intel has encouraged fans to upload frames of Tom Brady going about his day to

On Super Bowl Sunday, Intel will leverage the content created from fans and broadcast a “day in the life” of Tom Brady on social media.

Intel uses Doritos marketing strategy

This excitement will lead up to the reported 5 million dollar, 30-second commercial that will be broadcasted during the big game.

By using user-generated content from fans of Tom Brady, Intel is actually getting the world to see how their brand new 360 technology works.

That kind of PR for a newly released product is pretty amazing. Teaming up with one of the most beloved athletes of all time? That certainly doesn’t hurt, either.

How UGC Powered Doritos Marketing Strategy on Super Bowl Sunday and Inspired Others

For nearly a decade, Doritos gave its Super Bowl slot away. No, not to any competition: to the people. Doritos changed how everyone looked at Super Bowl ads, when in 2007, it released the first ever consumer-created Super Bowl ad. The ad did well on its own account, winning the #4 best commercial of the game, according to the USA Today Ad Meter poll.

The idea behind Doritos’ marketing strategy for Game Day was simple, yet innovative.

Doritos asked its fans to submit their own original videos for the chance to win the Super Bowl slot. Over the next nine years, their fans consistently showed up to play, submitting thousands of videos and pulling together to comment, vote, and share their favorites.

While most brands clamor to snag the celebrity of the year and think up the commercial that will knock all the crowd off their feet, Doritos trusted its number one fanbase – its audience – with creating their Super Bowl commercial.

Doritos marketing strategy was no doubt a success, enough so that Doritos made few changes to their strategy and the competition in the past years. Crowdsourced campaigns gained traction, both in and out of the Super Bowl sphere.

But there was no user-generated content marketing campaign as illustrious as Doritos. And, whether or not Doritos commercials were the best each year, they were the best marketing innovation fueled by user content.

Why did Doritos marketing strategy consistently win the Super Bowl, and what can brands learn from Doritos user-generated content marketing campaign?

No one knows your audience as well as your audience

Slightly weird, outrageous, filled with curveballs, and funny in a “what-did-I-just-see” way, Doritos marketing strategy was to produce ads that were recognizable beyond a doubt. To be distinct among the crowds is one of the best things a brand could wish for.

But great branding isn’t born, it’s carefully grown over time through meticulous attention to the changing needs of target audiences.

The most successful brands know how to evolve with their consumer base, while those that sink tend to miss the mark.

By asking users to submit their own interpretation of what Doritos means to them, the brand got a unique look into their customers’ language, personality, pain points, and wants and needs.

Take a look at Dorito’s first Crash the Super Bowl commercial…

Now watch the commercial that won the 2015 contest…

Clearly, times change. So do customers. Inviting user content gives you an unrivaled opportunity to really understand your target customer bases.

The submissions to Doritos’ contest over the years have revealed valuable insights about their audience, as well as recurring trends: lots of babies, dogs, guys hitting on girls, and Cheech-and-Chong humor.

Listening to your audience can help mold your future marketing strategy. Online, user-generated content campaigns build long-tail keywords to build natural SEO and target what consumers really want from your product. Overall, UGC marketing campaigns give brands insight into how their users talk, what they want, and who they are.

User-generated campaigns build buzz before and after big events

Not only did Doritos crowdsource their Super Bowl ad; they also crowdsourced their Super Bowl marketing.

Beyond inviting users to get involved with the contest, Doritos had little to to get the fire going. Each year, thousands of users sent in contest submissions. Friends, family, and social circles of participants, as well as thousands of other fans, joined the conversation and build organic buzz born of real passion for the contest and product.

Doritos understood content marketing campaigns are run for the people, by the people – and in return for giving over the reigns to their customers, their customers had autonomy and responsibility for the product they produce.

Additionally, Doritos marketing strategy was smart because it incentivized great content production by pairing a request to submit with an incredible reward. A chance to have your video shown at the Super Bowl in front of millions of viewers? $1 million? A dream job at Universal Studios?

Doritos knew in order to get high-quality submissions and real responses the reward needs to be seriously enticing. Burning over $4 million on a slot at the Super Bowl is no small change, so it was worth it to Doritos to get the best quality submissions possible.

Others tag along on the UGC wave, but Doritos proves the original flavor is best

Even other brands tried to get a slice of Doritos successful UGC campaign’s pie. Newcastle Brown Ale even entered Doritos contest in their own Super Bowl commercial. Well, sort of.

While Newcastle’s parody was meant to poke fun at Doritos’ campaign, other brands were inspired by their user content marketing and decided to try it for themselves.

Ford Lincoln came up with Steer the Script, a campaign sponsored by celebrity endorser Jimmy Fallon. Jimmy Fallon asked his Twitter followers a simple question: “What’s the craziest thing that ever happened to you on a road trip?” Ford then used the collected UGC to create their 2013 Super Bowl commercial, inspired from real customer responses.

Additionally, Pepsi took a UGC cue and invited users to upload photos in poses which were used for a stop-motion collage that played right before Pepsi welcomed Beyonce to the halftime-stage in 2013.


Clearly, user-generated content marketing is making its way into mainstream marketing, with big brands paying attention to the benefits. Doritos marketing strategy showed that marketing with UGC is more than a fad – it’s the future.

Learn why user content marketing works or clear up your questions about how to use user content marketing effectively and get started leveraging your own campaign today.

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Aimee Millwood
Aimee Millwood, Director of Content at Yotpo
Aimee loves hummus and hates misplaced commas.

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