Doritos dares fans to hold on to what they love: Ketchup

Who ever holds out the longest in new mobile game gets a year's supply of Doritos

Jeff Fraser February 18, 2015






Michelle M. held on for 28 hours.

“Holding on” in this case means playing a mobile web game where she has to keep her finger on a bag of Doritos Ketchup for as long as she can — without being distracted by fake phone calls and texts from the game, or real ones from her phone.

The game, called “Doritos Hold Out,” is playable in any mobile browser at DoritosKetchup.ca. It was created by BBDO to promote the re-launch of Doritos Ketchup tortilla chips in Canada, which despite massive popularity will only be around for a short time.

“The consumer insight is you don’t want to let go of things that you love,” said Susan Irving, senior director of core brands for PepsiCo Foods Canada. “You just don’t want to let go of Ketchup. That’s how the campaign came to life.”

Whoever holds on the longest gets a year’s supply of free Doritos, plus the grand prize — the last bag of Ketchup ever produced, carefully sealed away in a glass display case.

Michelle M. currently holds the highest score at 28 hours 16 minutes. (The second highest score, held by Alia B., is a measly 12 hours 33 minutes.)

Doritos Ketchup originally launched in Canada a decade ago, but didn’t last long — that is until it was reintroduced last spring as part of an annual series of limited-time “throwback” flavours.

Irving said fans’ demands to bring Ketchup back started rolling in almost as soon as they were off the shelves. The team got so much feedback they eventually decided to bring the flavour back for another run.

“Doritos has always been about consumer engagement,” Irving said. “Everything we’ve done from Doritos Guru, to Doritos The End, to Crash the Super Bowl, it’s all about giving our fans a stage, and listening to consumers.”

The game-slash-contest is being promoted with both paid and earned social, which have already garnered a collective 6 million impressions and 41,000 engagements (including 9,500 likes and 4,000 shares) in less than a week since going active, Irving said. OMD managed media for the campaign, while PR and social were managed internally.

The contest runs from February 12 to March 31st, but the chips will be available until “whenever the last bag is sold” (which Irving expects will be three to four months).

Doritos is also working with BuzzFeed on a series of sponsored articles for millennials, playing off the campaign’s theme of nostalgic longing for Canadian’s favourite red condiment. So far there’s “11 Unexpected Ways To Use Ketchup And Make Life Epic” and “13 Things That People Will Definitely Never Give Up.”

Irving said even though Doritos Ketchup have done so well, there are no plans to make it a permanent addition to the Doritos lineup. But she wouldn’t rule out another Ketchup encore, either.