Grandma Keeps on Truckin’ in Doritos’ Monster Ad


For The Bold in Everyone


At Christmas, Amazon gave us the tobogganing grannies. Now Doritos go one better: they’ve got a pensioner leaping a line of cars in a monster truck. It’s part of the snack brand’s new campaign from Goodby Silverstein & Partners, designed to position Doritos as the snack for the bold, thanks to its commitment to big crunches and strong flavours.

And triangles, of course. “Be a triangle in a world of circles” is the tagline – a nice way of reframing the idea of standing out. Nana decides she wants to start driving again and reapplies for a license. Her family are a bit worried, but she knows what she wants – and it’s to get behind the wheel of a monster truck. As a Dorito eater, how could she do any less?

The ad prioritises storytelling and surprise, with tricks like showing Nana behind a wheel before zooming out to show it’s for a truck helping keep momentum up. There’s some between-ness in the communication between Nana and her family but in general this ad is putting storytelling first with quick cuts between scenes and action that crams as much entertainment as possible into its 30 seconds. A smart use of a voiceover to narrate and enhance the action – rather than distract from it with product claims or information – helps make this dense narrative work.

As for Nana herself, she’s part of a welcome trend we’ve noticed lately for better age representation. In our 2022 Wise Up! report on how to better represent older people in advertising, we advised treating them as people with their own lives, hobbies and enthusiasms, not just extensions of a family. Doritos may have taken a more surreal path than most to doing this, but there’s a core truth behind the laughs – a lot of older people do find driving an absolutely vital way to retain their independence and lifestyle, even if it doesn’t usually involve a truck arena and jets of flame.

So what did real consumers think of Nana and her antics? They loved it – a 4.7-Star success for Doritos, putting it into the Top 5 ads in our Savoury Snacks database. Even more impressively, the ad’s wild ride gives it an Exceptional short-term Spike score (partly based on emotional intensity) and the clear branding mean it has Exceptional Brand Fluency too.

The success of this Doritos’ ad is another reminder to all marketers that audiences like humour and they enjoy being entertained. If you can mix humour and storytelling in a 30 second ad, and if you can deliver a big dose of surprise too, you’ll be well set for a monster bit of effective work.

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