Doritos made the bold decision to spice things up by completely dropping the logo from their newest spot that they rebelliously titled “Anti-Ad.” This decision came as part of their latest campaign “Another Level,” where the company is utilizing silhouettes of their blue and red bags, as well as the iconic triangle chip shape, to promote the brand’s image.
More often than not, the foods that we come across on a daily basis come in more shapes than we can name. But very few are as iconic and simple as the triangle chips attributed to Doritos, or as seemingly recognizable.
Although Doritos has historically revolved their advertising directly around the logo to improve brand recognition, the indirect approach this time around has taken a slight but not-so significant toll on brand recall. 71% of viewers recognized the Doritos brand in “Anti-Ad :30”. This is in contrast with the 79% of viewers that recognized the brand from the last six Doritos ads analyzed. The :15 “Anti-Ad”, on the other hand, took a greater blow with only 58% of viewers successfully recognizing the brand.
“Anti-Ad” aired during the VMA’s, aiming to target Gen Z consumers. Although a majority of viewers across all age groups recognized Doritos, Gen X was actually the most familiar with 75% (unaided) recall after watching the :30 version. Gen Z viewers trailed slightly at 71%, while only 68% of Millennials picked up on the clever hints. Maybe the clips from retro Doritos ads helped Gen X solve the mystery, but some of the clues weren’t brand-specific enough for some viewers. Case in point, this Millennial male missed the mark:
“This ad was a bold new way of talking about a product, in my opinion. Invoking the brand name of Cheetos (rhymes with “I need those”) without actually having to say the name of the product was a cool, unique way to remind people of a dominant product’s existence.”
Doritos (also rhymes with “I need those”) can stand its logo-less ground in terms of brand recognition for now, but did this “Anti-Ad :30” do anything to drive sales? Among gen pop viewers, positive purchase intent was just under 50%. Great news if you’re in the auto insurance category. But compared to 1-year norms among Chips, it trails by 6%. It’s also the weakest among Doritos last six ads from the past year.
The emphasis on the riddle left viewers feeling confused, which triggered our But and WTF emotional metrics. Incredulous signal resulted from “I can’t believe there’s no logo” reactions, further contributing to the confusion or evoking Love It praises. The :15 cut triggered the same WTF and Incredulous reactions, in addition to Awful and Dishonest, but the impact on viewers was void of any positive emotion:
Kudos to Doritos for the daring move! It asserted its dominance in a crowded category, with little damage done to Brand Recognition. However, too much thought in a category driven by the Pavlovian response results in confusion, not cravings.