Doritos brings back nostalgic favorite with TikTok challenge

Dive Brief:

  • PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay snack unit is bringing back the cone-shaped version of Doritos that were first introduced in a Super Bowl ad starring actress Ali Landry in 1998, and withdrawn in the mid-2000s. The snack brand is teaming with Landry on a social media challenge to promote a new version of the tortilla chips called Doritos 3D Crunch, per an announcement.
  • In homage to the brand’s original “Laundromat” commercial, Landry on Dec. 28 will ask people to create videos of themselves catching Doritos 3D chips with their mouths “in the boldest ways possible,” and to post them on social video app TikTok with the hashtag #Doritos3DChallenge.
  • Doritos 3D Crunch “is one of our most anticipated produce launches ever,” Rachel Ferdinando, senior vice president and CMO of Frito-Lay North America, said in a statement. Amid a shift in consumer preferences for spicier foods, Doritos updated the 3D chips with two flavors, Spicy Ranch and Chili Cheese Nacho. The chips will be available in stores on Dec. 28, per the announcement.

Dive Insight:

Doritos’ campaign for its 3D chips taps into the nostalgia that many consumers feel for snack foods they had enjoyed when they were younger, while also introducing the brand extension to a younger generation that tends to spend more time on social media.

The upcoming hashtag challenge on TikTok, which has 100 million users in the U.S. and is popular with teens, is a way for Frito-Lay to engage consumers with the creative of its “Laundromat” commercial starring Ali Landry. In the Super Bowl spot, she played a woman who shows off her acrobatic skills at catching 3D chips in her mouth, outdoing the moves of a flirtatious guy. By asking TikTok users to participate in the challenge, Doritos not only can engage younger consumers who tend to favor snack foods, but also extend the reach of its campaign as people share their videos with others.

Doritos is among the food brands that have revived past marketing campaigns to connect with consumers who are eating more meals at home during the pandemic, and have tended to seek out familiar brands that are a source of comfort. General Mills’ Cheerios cereal this month reprised a heartwarming 1999 commercial that had gained traction on TikTok with a viral video by influencer Cori Spruiell. The original spot showed a grandmother feeding her grandchild Cheerios, while using pieces of the cereal as props to map out where she and their relatives lived in relation to the baby. Earlier in the year, General Mills brought back former recipes for cereals that were popular in the 1980s to tap into the nostalgia trend. Kellogg’s cereal brand Frosted Mini-Wheats and Campbell’s Soup also have run campaigns with similar themes.

Frito-Lay has been a strong performer for PepsiCo as U.S. consumers eat more meals at home instead of going out to eat during the pandemic. Frito-Lay North America’s organic sales grew 6% in Q3 from a year earlier, faster than the 4.2% growth for the entire company, per a quarterly earnings announcement. Frito-Lay’s Tostitos, Cheetos and Doritos brands experienced higher growth, while PepsiCo’s Quaker Foods division saw double-digit growth in pasta and macaroni and cheese dishes, CNBC reported. Net revenue growth of 5.3% in Q3 reversed a 3.1% decline in Q2, when pandemic lockdowns negatively affected beverage sales at restaurants, bars and hotels.

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