CASSIES Silver: Doritos holds out for ketchup

How far would you go for a bag of chips?

This story appears in the February/March 2016 issue of strategy.

Silver: Events, Seasonal and Short-Term

Situation Analysis:

With the snack category continually adding new brands, Doritos defended its share of the aisle with limited-time flavours, which created interest at the shelf and drove incremental sales, as had been seen by the 2014 temporary reintroduction of Ketchup-flavoured Doritos after a 10-year hiatus. As the flavour quickly sold out, it was planned to reappear in 2015, but with the considerably higher goals of a three-times sales increase, adding 5% to total brand volumes.

Insight & Strategy:

The millennial target (16 to 24) is exposed to more entertainment options than they can possibly consume, but the limited time in market for Doritos Ketchup could be an advantage in that environment. While Doritos Ketchup would soon be gone from the shelves, there would be one bag left on the entire planet, and someone could win it. But to do so, they would have to give up the use of something else they loved: their mobile phone.


The program launched on Feb. 12, 2015 and ran for six weeks with a support of $200,000 nationally. “The Hold Out” was a mobile-only game where, in order to play, consumers had to give up the use of their phone. Social posts on Facebook, Twitter and BuzzFeed directed Android and iPhone users to to compete for the world’s last bag of Doritos Ketchup by putting their finger on the screen to hold on to that last bag as long as they could. Distractions included a fake phone call from “Work” or a text from “Mom” to knock them off balance. Whoever could hold on the longest won the grand prize of the very last bag of Doritos Ketchup and a year’s supply of Doritos.


Doritos Ketchup “Hold Out” drove sales 3.5-times higher versus 2014, 17% above target and necessitated two additional production runs. Total Doritos sales volume increased 14.4%, almost triple the 5% goal. Average game time was six minutes and 45 seconds while the winner held on for over two weeks. The “Favourite Brand” brand metric increased from 28% to 34% during the campaign period. In 16 weeks, Ketchup sales exceeded those achieved by several of the permanent flavours in all of 2014.

Cause & Effect:

While the advertising support was new in 2015 and distribution increased by 16%, trade spending was equivalent to the 2014 Ketchup campaign, while average price increased compared with 2014.


Client: PepsiCo Foods Canada

Sr. director of marketing: Susan Irving

Marketing managers: Adam Day, Matthew Webster

Associate marketing manager: Telly Carayannakis

Agency: BBDO Toronto

SVPs, ECDs: Peter Ignazi, Carlos Moreno

ACD: Derek Blais

CW: Britt Wilen

AD: Bryan Howarth

VP group account director: Stephanie Page

Account supervisor: Jaya Rizzi

Group project director: Jason Dick

Sr. project manager: Sarah Ng

Group technical director: Darrin Patey

VP user experience: Trevor Shaikin

Developers: Douglas Glover, Nicolas Rivera

Sr. QA analyst: Della Lytle

Director, data analytics & insights: Curtis Rushing

Data analyst: Arpan Rai

Strategy supervisor: Mats Kawana

Sr. digital strategist: Courtney Jones

Digital agency: Proximity Canada

Media agency: OMD