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Dorito’s Boldstage video wins Idea of the Week

12th March 2013

As brands that have embraced social and taken it to the heart of their marketing approach go, PepsiCo’s Doritos brand is right up there.

Since debuting their “Crash the Superbowl” campaign several years ago, that promised to screen a fan’s homemade ad for the brand in one of the most expensive ad slots on planet Earth (which came to the UK during Euro 96 and promised to send an ad to space, if memory serves), the brand has led the way. Following that up with their Mariachi band, they did it again.

Now, social media watchers will have seen their #boldstage campaign, which broke in the States over the weekend …

The campaign (for those who can’t be bothered to watch LL Cool J’s introduction) promises a SXSW gig “guided” by the brand’s Twitter fans.

But for me, it’s an example of an idea that has taken the three disciplines that the modern PR campaign planner needs to have in their armoury – editorial skill, experiential vision and social nous – to create something that is being talked about worldwide.

What it shows is that, for forward thinking brands (and their agencies), there is now an opportunity to come up with ideas that can – in a few well-executed cases – take the whole world by storm.

And perhaps for those of us who work with big budgets and brave clients, the potential for social and online media to spread the word should mean that reaching a global audience should be the aim – because, God knows, campaigns like this show that is a very real prospect.

Why do I genuinely believe that’s the case?

Because when you look at this piece of activity and take it apart, its constituent parts are merely the nuts and bolts of PR … albeit scaled-up rather dramatically.

Several parts talent, one part of experiential, a spot of gigging, an already high-profile festival to hi-jack (which brings a ready-made, highly socially-engaged audience), a dash of “audience controls the action via social media” mechanic and some traditional media skills.

Nothing complicated. Just bigger than your average. And brave, of course.

Because (budgets aside), the thing that sets the Doritos campaign apart is the fact that someone, somewhere has taken a bet.

That bet has been that the coverage will come and that people will talk about the campaign socially – thereby justifying the spend.

Perhaps (with a few exceptions), PRs aren’t used to making those kind of bets – aware as we are of the risk that something we’ve spent a LOT of client money on won’t work due to circumstances beyond our control.

Meantime, our advertising counterparts, possibly unaware of (or simply less concerned about) the odds that something might not take off, will take the kind of punt that gets the world talking. The Doritos work, though, shows that, if the stakes are high enough, those bets are worth making.

James Gordon-MacIntosh is founder and Managing Partner at Hope&Glory PR.

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