Doritos Clever Thinking Only Outsmarts Themselves.
Doritos is set to launch an ‘anti-ad’ campaign to appeal to Gen Z, who is research tells us are averse to traditional advertising tactics. The snack food brand plans to ditch its logo, replacing it with a recognizable triangle shape superimposed by the words; “Logo Goes Here” across it’s above the line, packaging and social channels.
At first glance this sounds like a clever strategy; ‘The kids don’t like brands behaving like brands – so let’s not behave like a brand’. But with a little more insight and perhaps the filter of building brands for 30 years I’m not so sure.
A point most brands seem to miss is that almost regardless of what they do, they are still ‘branding’. An ad campaign is still an ad trying to influence behavior, even if it doesn’t feature the brand’s name and logo. When they lose their nerve and give away enough clues to ensure no-one misses the point it’s kind of like saying the punch line at the start of the joke, repeating it at the end and checking the audience ‘got it’.
A glance at the social engagement around the campaign is enough to get a sniff of what this audience thinks. Comments are loaded with sarcasm, with several whip-cracks lauding it as a Cheetos ad. Ouch! These guys are clearly a step ahead of the brand and remorseless in their feedback.
Once thing that defines Gen Z is that they see brands through the lens of how they behave more than any generation before them. The maxim of ‘show me what you mean – don’t tell me what you mean’ has never been more important. If Doritos really want to run an anti-ad campaign for this audience, they’re going to have to get real and literally not run an ad campaign. Now that’s a strategy likely to get cut through for this audience, but also unlikely to ever be given the green light by the client.
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a Melbourne branding agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more here
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