Doritos won’t air any ads during Super Bowl LI

Last fall, Frito-Lay announced that they’d be retiring the Crash the Super Bowl contest after the 2016 Super Bowl.  That left a lot of people (ok, mostly me and a bunch of marketing nerds) wondering what kind of ads Doritos would air during the 2017 game.  It turns out that the answer is “none.”  The company has decided to totally sit out Super Bowl LI….presumably because “Super Bowl LI” is such a dumb name.  Hey NFL, bring back the X’s and V’s!  Whoa…I just realized something; the Super Bowl will have an “L” as one of its roman numerals for like the next 40 years.  That’s weird.  Well anyway, here’s Variety had to say about Doritos’ decision:

Super Bowl viewers won’t have ads for Frito-Lay chips and snacks to munch on during Super Bowl commercial breaks in 2017.

The PepsiCo-owned maker of Doritos, Cheetos, Fritos and Sun Chips, among other salty favorites, said it would not run an ad in Fox’s broadcast of Super Bowl LI in February of next year, with a spokesperson noting the gridiron classic “did not fit with our marketing plans.” The departure takes place after the company announced that Super Bowl 50 would feature its last “Crash the Super Bowl” contest. For a decade, the company solicited Doritos commercials from amateur filmmakers  and put the best of them up alongside Super Bowl ad giants like Bud Lite and Coca Cola.

I wonder if Frito-Lay made this decision before or after they ended the Crash the Super Bowl contest.  If the company originally planned to air some ads in 2017, their marketing team and/or ad agency would have been under a lot of pressure to deliver something amazing.  You can’t run consumer-generated ads for 9 years and then stop just to air something lame and cheesy that cost 1,000 times more to produce.  So maybe they wanted to run some commercials this year but they just couldn’t come up with any decent ideas.  But I’d day it’s more likely that they just needed a gap year while they plan to re-boot their Super Bowl identity.