Each year, super bowl commercials are full of hits and misses, with occasional backfires and controversy pushed to the limits. This year, Coca Cola got its share of criticism for their “America the Beautiful” ad. Maserati kind of blew it with their “being different” ad. I’m not sure that’s the angle they should have played considering it’s hard not to know you’re different when your car starts at over $100,000. But, of course, in the long run, what is 4 million dollars to a company with 634 million dollars in yearly revenue.

But without spending too much time criticizing the bad ads, let’s talk about the good ones. Doritos hit the jackpot by utilizing their super bowl spot to the fullest, as true marketing geniuses evolving their entire marketing campaign around the idea of the ads themselves. Unlike most companies who spend millions of dollars making their ads themselves and then purchasing the 30 sec spots, the Doritos marketing team took the bull by the horns and made their 4 million dollar investment go all the way instead of just hoping that the purchase would create enough attention to justify the expenditure.

Starting in 2006, the Doritos marketing team started an ingenious social media marketing push by setting up a content for fans to submit their super bowl ads, with this year’s final pick earning one million dollars. Each year the company’s contest receives thousands of entries and a slew of visitors drawn to the website to cast their votes for the winning ad.

This year’s winning ad, called “Time Machine”, features a perfect trifecta of successful advertising, including a cute kid, a cute dog and a enticing plot all cleverly revolving around the love for Doritos. Even the runner up ad called “Cowboy Kid” didn’t stray far from the wining ad concept by also featuring a cute kid, a dog, and their love for Doritos.

Despite the always-rising prices for the 30 second Super Bowl spots, the demand never seems in short supply, and as usual carry a hoopla of post game analysis and brand building. Of course, that might be enough for some companies, but more agencies should take a lesson from the Doritos handbook and stretch their 4 million dollar investment even further by properly build their marketing campaigns around the brand and the ad spots, involving their brand’s loyal fans, utilizing social media channels and generating organic hoopla to promote their brand.

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