Doritos viral campaign that every advertiser should fear

I attended a social media breakfast this morning held by Bullseye digital sevices agency where Ian Farmer presented on his Social Media Action plan.

At the breakfast I caught up with Ian Lyons of PureProfile and The Cool Hunter who sent me the Doritos Banner Takeover viral video from YouTube. If you haven’t seen it, it is an eye-opener for publishers, advertising-network operators, advertisers and everybody else operating online – or thinking about transitioning their media business onto the interweb and using advertising as the revenue source. Yet another issue to consider. As Ian Lyons said, “here’s the video all publishers need to see”.

The only problem for Doritos, with all the viral traction they’re gaining from the immediate interest in this campaign, their website and download doesn’t seem to be up and running yet at Perhaps the video was leaked and escaped Doritos’ advertising camp too early?

Update: I was just doing some research on this campaign and found a reference in the Twitter Search logs from five months ago by @tbrunelle saying “ offers a Doritos plugin that works as a banner blocker. An advertiser removes other advertisers.” Yet again, there is NO plug-in at – there is, however, a live site with print and outdoor ad samples as well as other basic campaign info, including the video. I will continue to investigate, all the way to Sweden, to get an answer on what is happening here. If anyone else knows, please let us in on the mystery with a comment below. Maybe this is part of the elaborate and fictitious Doritos SNACK STRONG Productions that involves an online game, Crash the Super Bowl campaign, UGC and more.

The Swedish agency is Papercut and notes that it has won several awards for the work already in 2008.

Update II: Well, as you can see from the links above, has been taken down, still doesn’t exist. However, it is most likely because the video was created by a couple of very talented Swedish students, Carl Frederick Jannerfeldt and Tomas Jonsson. I’m unclear how much or little of the work on the Papercut site is student work or client work, but it’s certainly worth having a look at for ideas and inspiration. Check out the lightart campaign for Maglite.

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5 Responses

  1. NEW Doritos Viralocity Viral Contest

  2. Thanks Josh. is still not active and more and more comments are discussing it online. Could have turned the excellent first impression into a PR debacle. Thanks for the note on your BT piece, I’ll have a read! Cheers, Chris.

  3. Nice post, Chris.

    It’s interesting how important prep is to a viral campaign. Viral growth still has to come back to a destination point, eventually. If that destination isn’t ready, it can look bad.

    I put up a new post on the Lunch Pail about the BT industry. Thought you’d find it worth a read.


  4. Ditto on loving the video, Ian. Thanks for the tip. Cheers, Chris

  5. I love this video because it grabs publishers’ attention. It is in fact a clever viral video created by an agency in Sweden for Doritos. It gets the conversation started but before publishers can breathe a sigh of relief, there is in fact a free browser plugin – AdBlock Plus – which has been downloaded over 26,000,000 times. Instead of replacing ads with images, it relaces them with either beatiful, quiet white space or compresses the space otherwise taken up by an noisy interruptive ad.

    There is plenty of research which shows that consumers are happy to have ad supported content – the difference is that it now has to be relevant and useful. If you want to serve me relevant and useful offers, you’d better get to know me first. The game just got a lot more challenging but the potential rewards for those who get it right are huge.

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