Doritos Pits Canadians Against Each Other In A Fight Over Ketchup Chips

Sure it sounds ridiculous, but ketchup chips are practically a national food.

In some corners of Canada, flavored chips are a kind of deep-fried religion. Sour cream and bacon, dill pickle, roast chicken, fries and gravy, garlic caesar, perogi platter, grilled cheese, maple bacon, Jamaican jerk chicken, greek feta and olive, and buffalo wings and blue cheese, are among the non-traditional favorites–but nothing comes close to the Canadian dedication to ketchup chips.


It is into this intense northern flavor infatuation that Doritos wades with a new mobile game pitting Canucks against one another. A decade ago the brand unleashed an (arguably) addictive combination of its own crunchy chip construction with the ketchup flavor, before it was mercilessly yanked from the shelves. Last year they brought the flavor back for a short time and it sold out within five weeks. Now, like a sadistic snack merchant, the company has once again released its ketchup-flavored Dortitos in limited supply. This year, until March 31, the brand and agency BBDO Toronto are giving people the chance to win the last bag of ketchup Doritos, plus a year’s supply of the usually available Doritos flavors.

The Hold Out challenges fans to use a finger to hold onto a digital bag of Doritos ketchup chips on your phone for as long as they can, but the game will try to fool you with a fake phone call or text. It’s like Hands on a Hardbody but with mobile phones and more teeth.

BBDO Toronto executive creative director Peter Ignazi says the idea came from a combination of wanting to put a positive spin on the ketchup chips’ tortuously limited availability, and how the brand’s millennial consumers engage. “Because they are back for a limited time we took the insight, ‘when you love something, you don’t want to let it go’ and came up with this web-based game that will let us see how far fans will go to avoid their favorite snack slipping through their fingers,” says Ignazi. “The core demographic for the Doritos brand consumes more digital media–much of it on their smartphones–than any other group. To win, fans will not only have to hold on, but give up one of their most prized possessions to do it: their mobile phone.”

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.