To boost awareness of a product relaunch before, during and after the Super Bowl, Frito-Lay ran Instagram and Facebook video ads and saw a 2.4X return on ad spend.

Popular flavored tortilla chip brand

Doritos is a US brand of flavored tortilla chips known for its collection of bold flavors. The brand has been produced since 1961 by Frito-Lay, a wholly owned subsidiary of PepsiCo. As a leader in the snack category, Doritos is committed to providing greater variety and choice.


return on ad spend


lift in sales per household


lift in number of new households purchasing

Instagram and Facebook continue to be proven drivers of business success when we launch products. For this campaign, we wanted to cost-efficiently reach the largest audience possible and achieve a solid return on investment. Our strong results came from telling a pre-, during, post-Super Bowl story using influencer marketing to create authentic connections with consumers, together with product-focused ads.
Boosting Doritos sales

Frito-Lay wanted to run an Instagram ad campaign to reach more snackers, boost brand awareness and increase sales of its Doritos Cool Ranch tortilla chips before, during and after the Super Bowl.

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A cool three-phase campaign

To promote the relaunch of the Doritos brand’s Cool Ranch flavored tortilla chips that are billed as “packed with even more Cool Ranch flavor,” Frito-Lay partnered with media buying agency OMD and creative agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners on a three-phase Super Bowl ad campaign. The team worked with Facebook Creative Shop to build the campaign’s creative strategy, which used influencers and prominently featured product shots.

Frito-Lay chose two celebrity influencers who could authentically amplify the brand story, reach audiences across age demographics and fit with its “ranch” campaign theme: The young musician, Lil Nas X, known for his hit country-rap song “Old Town Road” and veteran actor Sam Elliott, best known for portraying cowboys in movies.

  1. Pre-game: the team ran video ads showing Lil Nas X riding a horse, or Sam Elliott walking into a saloon, along with text overlays teasing the upcoming product launch.

  2. During the game: the brand ran a six-second video ad showing both celebrities doing funky “Cool Ranch Dance” moves. This was cut down from a longer TV ad that ran during the game.

  3. Post-game: the brand ran a mix of influencer and product-focused videos, including one that showed a cattle branding iron searing the words “Now With More Cool Ranch Flavor” onto the tortilla chip packaging.

The messaging played on the country theme, such as “The ranch just got cooler” in the influencer ads and “The original Doritos Cool Ranch flavor, now with even more yeehaw” in the product-focused ads.

Frito-Lay delivered the ads to US adults aged 18 and over, as well as to a Custom Audience of past purchasers, in Instagram feed, Instagram Stories, Facebook News Feed and Facebook Stories. It also used Facebook’s campaign budget optimization feature to automatically distribute the budget across the best-performing ad sets in real time.

Frito-Lay determined the results of the January 15–March 17, 2020 campaign using reporting data from Facebook Measurement Partner Oracle Data Cloud, which revealed:

  • 2.4X return on ad spend

  • 1.4% lift in sales per household

  • 1.98% lift in number of new households purchasing