Doritos Ketchup Roses

Seasonal (GOLD)

Client Credits: PepsiCo Foods Canada
Senior Director of Marketing, Global Brands (PepsiCo Foods Canada): Susan Irving
Marketing Manager, Young & Hungry (PepsiCo Foods Canada): Matt Webster
Senior Marketing Manager, Digital Strategy (PepsiCo Foods Canada): James Clarke
Contractor, Digital Content (PepsiCo Foods Canada): Kevin Gonsalves
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications (PepsiCo Foods Canada): Sheri Morgan

Agency Credits: BBDO Toronto
Advertising Agency: BBDO
SVP, Executive Creative Director (BBDO): Denise Rossetto
SVP, Executive Creative Director (BBDO): Todd Mackie
VP, Associate Creative Director (BBDO): Derek Blais
Copywriter (BBDO): Egin Kongoli
Art Director (BBDO): Nolan Kennelly
Agency Producer (BBDO): Jana Desjardins
Project Manager (BBDO): Sarah Ng
VP, Group Account Director (BBDO): Stephanie Page
Account Supervisor (BBDO): Solo Gritskiv
Account Supervisor (BBDO): Mary Montsenigos
Account Executive (BBDO): Karrie Kwong
Broadcast Producer & Account Executive (BBDO): Anne-Christel Rajoelina
Media Agency: OMD Canada
PR Agency: Citizen Relations Canada
Production & Post-Production Company: Someplace Nice
Director/Video Editor (Someplace Nice): Sean McBride
Shopify Experts: SOVI Creative
Rose Production: Touchpoint Films
Founder & Executive Producer (Touchpoint Films): Kevin Saffer
Editing House: Ricochet
Audio Production Manager (Ricochet): Mike Rosnick

Total 1965 Words


Business Results Period (Consecutive Months):January 2016 – May 2016
Start of Advertising/Communication Effort: January 25, 2016
Base Period as a Benchmark: January 2015 – May 2015
Geographic Area: Canada – National
Budget for this effort: $200,000 - $500,000

Why should this case win in the category (ies) you have entered?
In 2016, Doritos Ketchup was returning as a Limited Time Offer flavour. The original re-introduction of this flavour in 2015 was highly successful, delivering incredibly strong business results. However even though Doritos Ketchup had developed a cult-like following among 18-34 year-old males, as shown by the success of the LTO last year, mass penetration was still low.

This case shows how a strategy to weave Doritos Ketchup into a cultural moment via an irreverent but authentic insight successfully gained national media attention and, in turn, garnered a significantly larger audience to drive sales in 2016 to new heights. And at a higher average selling price.

a) Describe the Client’s business, competition and relevant history:

Doritos has successfully leveraged product news via Limited Time Offer flavours for a number of years. In the last 18 months, it has also evolved its communication model, focusing more on digital “hero” brand content that would connect with the millennial target.

An example of this was the success of the Doritos Ketchup LTO in 2015 which was supported by an innovative mobile-centered game called “The Hold Out” that required our target to hold onto their mobile screen the longest to win the world’s last bag of Doritos Ketchup.

Ketchup was to return as an LTO in 2016. The much loved chip was a hit with the youth target, but to achieve even higher sales in 2016, we needed to find a way to extend the love to a broader audience.

b) Describe the Client’s Business Issues/Opportunities to be addressed by the campaign:

Last year, the Doritos Ketchup LTO was very successful in engaging their target to generate not only best-ever sales for the flavour but lifting sales across the entire Doritos portfolio. The flavour had developed a cult-like following among 18-34 year-old males.  However, even with the success of the LTO last year, mass penetration was still low. 

To generate higher sales with the return of Doritos Ketchup in 2016, we needed to appeal to an even broader fan base for the unique chip. We needed to spread the love of Doritos Ketchup in a way that would continue to engage our core target but also create a wider base of potential buyers. 

c) Resulting Business Objectives: Include how these will be measured:
With the chip aisle at stake, we needed to channel the latent Doritos Ketchup love into these business objectives:

Sales Objectives:
• Increase baseline sales by +3.5%
• Increase trial rate from 3.4% to 3.6%
• Increase repeat purchase rate by 2 pts to 20%

Brand Metric Objectives:
Whenever we put communication in market, we look to increase Doritos brand:
• Brand I Love – increase by 10% from 28 to 31
• Brand that is Setting the Trends – increase by 10% from 33 to 36
• Flavours I Like – increase by 10% from 43 to 47

a) What new learnings/insights did you uncover?

To reach a larger audience, we sought to leverage cultural context that engaged a bigger group of people than the traditional Doritos fan. We focused on time of year for this inspiration. Doritos Ketchup was set to launch just before Valentine’s Day, an event that has traditionally been geared toward women. We believed this event presented the perfect opportunity to extend our fan base.

A bouquet of flowers is the go-to gift guys rely on, but there’s no equivalent go-to gift for women to give to men. This formed the basis of what would be our core insight: Valentine’s Day is a pretty one-sided affair where there is a lot of expectation on guys to do something special. But what about guys? What do you give them?

This gave us the tension we needed to create a disruptive idea for Doritos Ketchup and significantly expand our potential audience.

b) What was your Big Idea?

To solve the historic problem of what to give a guy on Valentine’s Day, we created Doritos Ketchup Roses – bouquets made of actual Doritos Ketchup chips – and shaped an attention-getting story that would transcend channels and get the flavour before an entirely new group of potential fans.

c) How did your Communication strategy evolve?

With a limited budget, our communication approach was to create a disruptive, news-worthy event that would generate significant earned media attention for a broader audience than the one we’ve traditionally attracted with our past millennial work, like” The Hold Out.”  

Our content had to show that we were casting a light on a real problem that happens on Valentine’s Day, and that finally someone was offering a real solution. This content would anchor an integrated social and PR campaign that would transcend media and news sources. 

The power of this campaign was rooted in an intrusive and memorable visual: For the first time ever, there’s something your guy will love on Valentine’s Day: Doritos Ketchup Roses. 

d) How did you anticipate the communication would achieve the Business Objectives?

By leveraging the context of Valentine’s Day, we believed we had the opportunity to ride general interest at a certain time of year. By shining light on a light-hearted but authentic dilemma at that time of year we believed we could breakthrough and give PR the ammunition it needed to gain exposure. The product is fundamental to the idea and driving breakthrough for the broader audience we needed to drive higher sales in 2016. We thought we could be part of culture for one great week.

And that’s exactly what happened. 

Section IV — THE WORK
a) How, where and when did you execute it?

On February 9th, a week prior to Valentine’s Day, we boldly announced on all of Doritos’ channels, that the brand had solved the problem of what to get guys for Valentine’s Day – we were launching Doritos Ketchup Roses and making them available for order.

The launch video kicked things off, paying homage to the throwback Doritos Ketchup packaging and through a 70s-inspired infomercial asking fans to go online and order their bouquets of #DoritosKetchupRoses.  Fans could visit and order a bouquet for their loved one, to be delivered to their door on Valentine’s Day, absolutely free. Anticipating that these bouquets would be in high demand, and to share the love with those outside of our delivery zones, we also encouraged Doritos fans to get crafty for love, by using our DIY Doritos Ketchup Roses guide to build their own bouquet.

The campaign was further supported with social media posts on Facebook and Twitter leading up to the big day, encouraging people to secure their bouquet for a loved one. We also created a series of irreverent memes & GIFs that were seeded on Reddit and other social channels.

The biggest propellant to our campaign was through key influencers and news media (spanning news, sports and entertainment) which generated high levels of earned media. To spread the word prior to launch, we pre-seeded bouquets of Doritos Ketchup Roses to key media outlets and bloggers the week before Valentine’s Day, when gift-giving was top of mind for the big day ahead. Because it was so topical, the link to Valentine’s Day meant it not only fit the cultural news cycle, but the bold take on the day allowed it to not get lost in the mix but thoroughly stand out.

The paid effort included heavy investment in social media as the primary driver for Doritos Ketchup Roses. Social posts were a mix of videos, animated promotions, instructional guides, roses deliveries and consumer responses. The video was also broadly distributed to young men and women on top video sites. A variety of influencer content was also created by the influencers themselves across all their social channels and picked up by the brand.

c) Media Plan Summary


We strategically planned and mapped out a phased approach to the campaign but also ensured we had flexibility to respond in real-time to how people reacted to the program.  And we did have to react extremely quickly as the first batch of Ketchup Roses Bouquets sold out in just a few hours on the first day they were made available.  We informed fans in a timely manner that Doritos was in the process of making more and yes, they should pre-order them now.  The overall effort was a balance of both careful planning and being nimble enough to react in real-time to the performance of the campaign and how people were interacting with the content.  

a) How did the work impact attitudes and behaviour?

Behind the strength of our cultural connection to Valentine’s Day and a compelling insight, the Doritos Ketchup Roses significantly moved the brand needle in these important areas:

-   247% lift in ad recall

-   45% lift in purchase consideration

-   Brand I Love – increased by 10%.

It is critically important we continue to drive Doritos unique positioning within the extremely crowded category with these promotional LTO’s.  Yes, we must always meet aggressive sales targets but the programs are truly designed to reinforce and strengthen Doritos overall brand equity.  The very product news we bring to market and how this news is communicated is a fundamental driver of overall brand perception and love. 

In terms of communications drivers, the initiative was extremely effective:

-        4.3 million views, 2.5x above our projections

-        Over 56 million earned media impressions in Canada and internationally

-        Earned media valued at over $675K – more than 3x our media budget

-        94% praise between social and call center responses

-        #DoritosKetchupRoses became a top 10 organic Twitter trending topic 

b) What Business Results did the work achieve for the client?

Campaign objectives exceeded expectations on the strength of what has been held up globally by PepsiCo as best-in-class innovation and engagement: 

-   Baseline sales grew at 8%, 2.3x our sales target

-   Repeat sales rate was 5x higher than objective at 30% from a target of 20% (+2 pts)

-   Sales performance higher than any other LTO in the history of the brand by 70%

c) Other Pertinent Results

In the past, feature pricing is commonly used to support LTOs and gain display. In 2016, Ketchup did more business at full price than ever. This LTO had the highest rate of purchase at full price (+11%).  Less reliance on feature pricing made the program significantly more profitable than last year.  

Finally, the work has been regarded by PepsiCo globally as a best-in-class example of innovation in brand engagement. 

d) What was the campaign’s Return on Investment?

Please see the above sections detailing the successful results across all metrics on this campaign.

Without releasing privileged information, we can say that the ROI delivered by this specific program was well above all corporate benchmarks and hurdle rates. A very limited budget drove incremental sales and these sales were at a higher average cost per unit as we avoided deep discounting. We also drove overall brand equity measures for Doritos holistically. This program is now held up globally as the model for how Doritos should go-to market.

Section VI — Proof of Campaign Effectiveness
a) Illustrate the direct cause and effect between the campaign and the results

The 2016 Doritos Ketchup LTO was successful because it did one thing very differently.  Last year, our idea, “The Hold Out”, was excellent at getting our core fans (millennial guys) to engage in the game and spread the word. It worked – it generated record sales for the period.

This year we fundamentally reoriented our thinking to gain awareness for the chip beyond our core fan base.  By inserting Doritos Ketchup into a light-hearted but authentic cultural issue, our total media exposure skyrocketed, and this drove more people to be aware of the flavour.

b) Prove the results were not driven by other factors
Campaign spend vs. history and competition:

The Doritos Ketchup LTO in 2016 was in market during the same period as the Ketchup LTO was in market the prior year, meaning they are directly parallel products and launches. The level of investment behind the campaigns was similar, each below $500,000. There was no significant change in distribution from a year earlier. 

The 2016 program had the added challenge of pricing. With the client goal to rely less on feature pricing, we had to deliver against targets at full price. We sold more product this year at full price than in any previous LTO, including last year’s Ketchup sales.

The only major difference was the approach in how we went to market. We sought to gain attention among a broader audience by hooking the brand into a cultural event, with no significant change in investment.

Pre-existing Brand momentum:




Changes in Distribution/Availability:


Unusual Promotional Activity:


Any other factors: