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Doritos dips into mobile with SMS promotion

Doritos, a brand of flavored tortilla chips produced by PepsiCo's Frito-Lay, has launched a new mobile campaign to support its latest product, Flavor Shots.

The Flavor Shots product is Nacho Cheese Doritos with flavor packets inside that consumers can pour in their bag to provide additional zest. Frito-Lay is distributing this product primarily in convenience stores, where the company is using in-store signage to urge consumers to text keyword BLAST to short code CHIPS (24477) to enter the Blast Zone promotion, in addition to a radio ad with the mobile call-to-action.

"We choose to engage in mobile marketing when it fits our communication strategy and, more importantly, the creative content we develop for a specific program," said Michael C. Fox, Doritos brand manager for Frito-Lay, Plano, TX.

"When we were working on our creative idea for Flavor Shots, we looked very closely at the Doritos C-Store consumer and how could we reach them in a way that made sense for both the creative content we were developing and their behavior in and around the store," he said.

"Mobile was a clear fit, so we developed the ?Doritos Blast Zone' promotion where consumers can text to enter for a series of prizes that get more intense as the promotion goes on."

Frito-Lay North America, or FLNA, is a division of PepsiCo Inc. that manufactures, markets and sells a variety of corn chips, potato chips and other snack foods.

The company's current form is the result of a 1965 merger of Frito-Lay Inc. and the Pepsi-Cola Co.
Frito-Lay's Doritos brand collaborated with The Marketing Arm's ipsh agency for the Blast Zone-Flavor Shots campaign.

As part of the mobile campaign, Doritos is offering Xbox-related prizes and free Doritos products, as well as the chance to attend NASCAR driving school or fly in a MIG fighter aircraft or in the Vomit Comet, a plane that replicates zero gravity.

"The cool thing is that you don't know when the prizes are dropping and the frequency will alter throughout the experience," Mr. Fox said. "Sometimes it could get pretty intense, just like our product."

Doritos is driving people to participate in its mobile promotion via radio commercials and in-store signage with the mobile call-to-action.

"All this helps us surround the consumer in that channel and create engagement that helps break up their routine," Mr. Fox said. "Blast Zone is the biggest mobile campaign we've run in a while.

"However, we've tried to incorporate creative uses for mobile when we can," he said.

For example, last Halloween Doritos created an online Haunted Hotel at Hotel626.com that is only open from 6 p.m. at night to 6 a.m. in the morning.

"It has proven so popular with over 5 million monthly unique visitors to date that we've kept it up even though the promotion ended months ago, so you can still go there today to check this out," Mr. Fox said.

To get out of the hotel at the very end of the experience, consumers have to give Doritos their mobile number. A ghost from the site calls them to give them directions out of the hotel.

"And once you get out, you think you've made it, but 5 minutes after you're done, the ghost calls you again," Mr. Fox said. "It's pretty intense and our Doritos fans love it."

Both Pepsi and Frito-Lay have been running mobile advertising for years in varying degrees, and has plans in the works for mobile Web sites and mobile applications.

"We are actually looking at both mobile sites and mobile applications right now for various campaigns," Mr. Fox said. "We haven't found a great fit yet for some of our creative executions, but I'm sure we will in the next year.

"Frito-Lay definitely envisions mobile becoming a greater part of its marketing mix over the course of this year and into next year, especially as its growing more and more into an entertainment vehicle for our fans," he said.