An Early Touchdown For Frito-lay


Taste the Victory


As the NFL championship playoffs heat up we’re also starting to see the first flickers of ad activity for Super Bowl LVIII. American advertising’s biggest night is mere weeks away and the pre-game teasers and early release ads like this Frito-Lay commercial are beginning to surface.

The last couple of years of Super Bowl ads have had a high overall quality even if we’ve only seen a handful of 5-Star commercials. Brands are getting the basics right and – give or take a misguided crypto ad – not too many crash and burn. This latest Frito-Lay spot – which launched this month but will run all the way to Game Day – is a great example of a good, solid Super Bowl ad which gets the basics right and lands a high Test Your Ad score.

The ad, created in-house, has celebrities: a trio of NFL legends (Rob Gronkowski, Marshawn Lynch and Troy Polamalu) celebrating their teams’ wins with Frito-Lay snacks. It has a simple concept – eating snacks on game night “tastes like victory”. And it has cool visual effects, with victory confetti exploding from bags when they’re opened. The whole package reminds viewers of the fun of game night.

That’s one reason it’s a wise decision by Frito-Lay to go early with its commercial. Ads about game night excitement aren’t uncommon at the Super Bowl, but on the night itself they can feel a little so-what – viewers are living that excitement for real, after all. Several weeks before, though, building anticipation as the playoffs get going, an ad can make more of an impact. And it avoids the downside of big game advertising – it’s often a one-shot deal which is denied the opportunity to make a longer-term impact on audiences.

Audiences really enjoy Frito-Lay’s ad – it scores a strong 4.1-Star score on Test Your Ad, which predicts its long-term brand-building potential. That’s a whole 1-Star higher than the category average. When we looked at Super Bowl ads last year we found that on average, those with celebrities performed no more strongly than those which didn’t – despite how common they are! But this ad uses its stars well, showing them laughing and joking together, creating moments of human “between-ness” which we know make ads more effective.

As a 4-week long campaign though, the exceptionally high Spike Rating (predicting short-term sales impact) is just as relevant as the longer-term Star Rating. This ad will get Frito-Lay snacks on game night tables, which is ultimately what it’s designed for.

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