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Why Doritos? mobile-only promotion may fuel copycats from CPG brands

Frito-Lay?s Doritos brand is paving the way for mobile-only promotions from consumer packaged goods marketers with a new effort encouraging consumers to put on a free pair of 3D glasses and scan a package of chips with a smartphone to unlock exclusive mobile videos featuring online celebrities.

Other food and beverage marketers may be poised to follow in its footsteps by leveraging mobile-only promotions that appeal to on-the-go shoppers in supermarkets as well as millennial consumers. The campaign arrives prior to the launch of Doritos? limited-edition 3D Bacon Cheddar Ranch snacks, which customers will be able to scan to view mobile videos as well as a sneak peek of Syfy?s new Sharknado 3 film.

?Advertisers are following audience time spent,? said Joline McGoldrick, vice president of research at Millward Brown Digital, Washington, D.C. ?Millennials spend the lion?s share of their screen time on mobile devices (172 minutes a day using the internet or apps on their smartphone and 60 minutes a day using the internet or apps on their tablet) compared to 93 minutes using the internet on their laptop and 119 minutes watching TV. 

?Therefore, mobile-only campaigns are going to the screens where their target audiences are spending the most time.?

Video on mobile
Doritos aims to bring the video experience on mobile to larger proportions with this new campaign. Consumers who purchase the 3D Bacon Cheddar Ranch or Doritos Jacked 3D Jalapeno Pepper Jack flavored snacks will be able to receive the exclusive content from a variety of content producers, including YouTube stars.

Customers may visit the mobile-optimized site to scan their Doritos snack and use a pair of Jacked 3D glasses to view the videos. The glasses arrive with purchase at select retailers, or may be received by contacting Frito-Lay?s consumer affairs division for a complimentary pair.

?The trigger for getting consumers to interact with the 3D content is the purchase of the Jacked 3D Bacon Cheddar snack,? said Shuli Lowy, marketing director at Ping Mobile, New York. ?That purchase happens on-the-go when the only reliable method through which to engage consumers digitally is through a mobile device. 

?Additionally, the campaign incorporates a neat gamified feature that requires the purchaser to take a picture of a Dorito and scan it in order to activate the content. The activation is fun when done on a smartphone and would be an absolute pain on most other devices.?

Doritos has teamed up with a slew of recognizable names in the online video sector, such as Vine star Zach King, YouTube celebrity Freddy Wong and BMX expert Tim Knoll, to create 3D videos for its fans. The brand?s Web site will provide a 3D snippet preview of a video from indie rock band PPL MVR.

Furthermore, fans of the Syfy channel?s Sharknado film series will be able to catch a glimpse at Sharknado 3 on the Jacked site, beginning July 6. Teaming up with a well-known franchise is a smart move for Doritos, as the cross-marketing opportunities may convince more Sharknado fans to purchase its snacks in the time leading up to the premiere on July 22.

Doritos hopes the campaign will reach more consumers, as the content may be accessed wherever they are.

Mobile-only campaigns
Doritos is also likely paving the way for other marketers in the food and beverage industry seeking to ramp up awareness for their products with millennials on mobile. Many of today?s campaign include integrated elements of traditional and digital media, but Doritos? magnifying glass on mobile marks a bold move for the brand.

?The campaign?s gamified experience combined with the 3D content is sure to resonate well with the target audience,? Ms. Lowy said. ?Doritos, which caters to engaged millennials, understands that its audience is digitally connected and that it takes an extra step to create a wow-factor.

?This campaign does just that,? she said. ?The content is also clearly designed with mobile in mind.

?The videos cap at about 30 seconds, which is ideal for mobile videos. Videos tend to see a dramatic drop off after 30 seconds on mobile devices.?

The content?s implicit mobile-first design will likely prove for a great viewing experience, and may entice some fans to spread to the word to their friends and family. The 3D element of the campaign also adds a twist, as not many other brands have undertaken a mobile-only marketing plan with it.

Doritos? focus on mobile stems from a busy six months exploring the communication channel for how best to implement tactics among younger consumers.

This past April, Doritos raised the marketing stakes by hosting a chance-based game show on live-streaming service Periscope along with a team game on Twitter to promote its recently released Roulette chips and connect with a younger male demographic (see story).

PepsiCo?s Frito-Lay division also leveraged an interactive tool and personalized packaging ahead of Memorial Day by letting consumers on mobile create custom digital bags of Lay?s potato chips featuring photos of favorite summer moments (see story).

?Mobile can be more challenging for products or verticals where the goal is conversion, as detailed activities such as purchase and search are still often done on laptops and PCS,? Millward Brown Digital's Ms. McGoldrick said. ?However, people don?t buy Doritos online and this campaign is more about boosting positive brand associations. 

?Audience attention can always be a challenge but Doritos is taking advantage of authenticity (via using YouTube and Vine stars) and reciprocity (via exclusive videos and a sneak peek of Sharknado), two tactics which have proven to be successful in mobile marketing.?

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York