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Gen Z doesn't like branding, so Doritos tries a new approach

A billboard shows an ad for Doritos, part of its 'Another Level' campaign
Doritos

Snack giant Doritos has launched an ad campaign which features no logo or brand name, to attract a younger, advertising-averse generation.

The PepsiCo-owned brand's campaign is called "Another Level" and features plain chip bags and the triangular-shaped snack itself and launched with a 60-second "Anti-Ad" on YouTube.

Doritos has also changed its Twitter handle to @Logo_Goes_Here and its website address to thelogogoeshere.com, where instead of images of chip packets, users land on a page that states "What products? You already know." Fans will be able to "triangle" themselves with a snapchat lens, and on Monday the brand tweeted: "It's the chip so iconic … we don't need to name it."

Even though the ad claims to be logo-free, it does use the Doritos triangle shape at the same angle it is found on packets. Toward the end of the ad is a shot of a billboard with the words "Logo Goes Here" superimposed on to the familiar three-sided shape.

But the de-branding is an effort to reach a generation that is not a fan of ads, according to Rachel Ferninando, senior vice-president of marketing at Frito-Lay. "There's a desire to almost reject traditional advertising," she told the Wall Street Journal on Monday. Generation Z, aged between around 8 and 22 years-old, are more familiar with ad-free experiences such as Netflix, so brands are having to find new ways to appeal to them.

The brand calls this audience "emerging adults" and stated: "Newer generations are increasingly turned off by blatant, promotional marketing," in a release emailed to CNBC.

Doritos is banking on its familiar, triangular shape and red and blue bags for recognition. "The following is a paid message for a chip so iconic we don't need to name it, cause this is an ad with no logos, no jingles, no gimmicks, just those red and blue bags with the stuff you love in it," the commercial begins, showing a young woman choosing a plain blue snack packet from a convenience store shelf.

The ad does feature a lot of triangles — a road sign, pyramid, chicken coop — as well as the familiar orange dust and head tilt to get the last crumbs.

Even the legal small print that often appears at the bottom of the screen is Gen Z friendly. "Lawyers love to spoil the fun. Another Level is a trademark of Frito-Lay North America, Inc. Pretend you didn't see," it states on the 60-second ad.

It's not the first time a company has dropped its brand name. In 2011, Starbucks cut its name from cups, replacing it with an image of the female siren it uses in branding, and Nike often relies on just the "swoosh" symbol to identify its products.