For Doritos Dinamita, a $7 million ad spot is just the start of its Super Bowl strategy

This story is part of Digiday’s annual coverage of the Super Bowl. More from the series →

This year’s Super Bowl is in Las Vegas, where the San Francisco 49ers will face off against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Given the setting, Doritos is rolling out all the stops for new flavors for its relaunched Dinamita rolled tortilla chips brand, including a celebrity-packed in-game spot, digital activations and in-person activities.

Building up to the Big Game, the chip brand has a newly launched TikTok page with more than 149,000 followers, a digital campaign and in-person sampling for those in Vegas. In the third quarter of the game, a star studded spot with Jenna Ortega and Danny Ramirez will run. On-the-ground in Las Vegas, fans can visit the Doritos Dinamita slot machine located on Fremont Street to score free products and merch. 

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“While we’ve got a really great linear campaign and we’re using the Super Bowl moment to re-launch Dinamita, we know that it’s incredibly important to be on all those other platforms,” said Tina Mahal, senior vice president of marketing at PepsiCo Foods North America, referring to digital and social components of the campaign.

This year, 30-second ad spots in the Big Game go for $7 million. As opposed to shelling that money out for a one-time ad, brands like Jif peanut butter, Opendoor real estate and Danone are so-called hacking the system. But for Doritos, it’s smart spend, Mahal said, even during a time when most marketing budgets are under scrutiny. (Mahal did not offer further details on brand ad spend for the Big Game.)

“The Super Bowl is definitely an attention-getting moment and it will help us with those business goals of driving some awareness, specifically for a new product line and for this great innovation,” she said. 

It’s unclear how much Doritos is shelling out for this year’s Super Bowl. From January through November of last year, Doritos spent just over $4,000 on media for its Dinamita brand. That figure is down from the $7,700 spent that same time period in 2022, according to Vivvix, which doesn’t include social media spend. In total, Doritos Dinamita spent more than $7,700 on paid media in 2022, slightly less than the $8,300 spent in 2021. 

This year’s Super Bowl has made a lot of headlines. Pop star Taylor Swift has become linked to the Big Game given her relationship with one of the players in it, the Kansas City Chiefs’ Travis Kelce. (How Taylor Swift lit up advertisers’ Super Bowl playbooks here.) Also, this year’s face off is in Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world. Marketers are using the setting to the fullest, rolling out teasers on the Sphere, leveraging the city’s landmarks and experiential events. 

“The Super Bowl ad is never just an ad — it’s the early hype; it’s the discussion after it airs; it’s the potential for a place in collective cultural memory,” Elizabeth Lindsey, president of brands and properties at Wasserman sports marketing agency, said in an email. “And what it should also be is an invitation to a larger experience.”

Doritos Dinamita isn’t the only brand capitalizing on the cultural moment, squeezing out all the juice it can with in-game ads, Las Vegas activations and digital campaign components. In addition to a 30-second spot during the second quarter, Hellmann’s took to the Sphere with its activation featuring Mayo Cat, the star of its Big Game ad.

To stand out and make the most of this year’s Super Bowl hype, it’ll be a matter of marketers marrying in-person activations with a digital presence, or connecting the URL to the IRL, as Andre Gray, chief creative officer of Annex88, a creative shop and subsidiary of Havas New York, puts it. 

“The Super Bowl has the viewership, it has the eyeballs, but the attention of it is a little bit different. So we’re starting to see a dimensionalizing of the ideas, a dimensionalizing of the campaigns,” he said. “We’re not playing for the viewership of the Super Bowl [for] 30 seconds. We’re planning for the conversation on the internet.”

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