Want to play a game? Grab a bag of Doritos

Roulette, the latest buzz-worthy line from PepsiCo, practically begs people to challenge friends.

It’s not an unusual sight to see a bowl of Doritos sitting next to gamers (both the digital and analogue kind).

So, to promote its latest launch, the PepsiCo brand has made the product part of the game.

Released mid-last month, the new Doritos Roulette chip contains a single fiery chip in every handful of regular chips. (I had a few – they weren’t that spicy, though others at the table, fittingly, while playing Clue, said it was one hot chip.) You never know when you’ll get one, so eating every bowl is a challenge.

To promote the new line in Canada (which, pre-launch, tested incredibly well), the brand unveiled a global TV spot late last month to run until mid-November, says Susan Irving, director of marketing, core brands, Pepsico Foods Canada. The brand also rolled out a social campaign, inviting people to submit photos of themselves eating the spicy chip with the hashtag #burnselfie. The social component wrapped up on July 1, but Irving says more social engagements are set to roll out though she remained mum on the details of those campaigns.

But what’s really sparked attention has been the videos people have been voluntarily submitting to the brand of them playing Doritos Roulette with friends (as in, they sit around a table and eat the chips, waiting to see who gets the spicy one).

“It’s amazing how everyone wants to play the game,” Irving says. “We’ve never had people send in videos of them eating a product.” The gaming nature of the chip worked incredibly well with the brand, she says, which is part of many people’s gaming rituals.

The videos have picked up notice from those south of the border – who don’t yet have Doritos Roulette in stores – picking up jealous buzz on Good Morning America, Fox News and BuzzFeed.

The launch campaign targets millennials, Irving says, with a skew towards men, and was created by BBDO on creative, OMD on media, Praxis on PR and Mark Four for in store. The chip was originally introduced in Venezuela and South Africa in 2012, and has since been picked up in five other markets.