Doritos tops 2009 Super Bowl ad buzz poll

LONDON - The "free Doritos" ad, created by two unemployed brothers for Frito-Lay's annual Super Bowl ad competition, topped USA Today's Ad Meter and was the most talked about ad online according to Zeta Interactive.

The 30-spot features two office employees with a snow globe that "can tell the future".

The globe is unexpectedly thrown at a nearby vending machine, shattering the glass and providing free Doritos for the whole office.

At the end of the ad, the other employee asks the globe if he's going to get that big promotion, and then throws the globe squarely into the crotch of a senior employee.

The USA Today poll is comprised of a panel of 288 Americans who used handheld meters to rate each ad.

"Free Doritos" narrowly beat Budweiser, which placed second and third in the poll with its Clydesdale horses ads, and has topped the competition for the past 10 years.


Viewership for this year's Super Bowl was down 6% compared to last year, drawing an audience of 90 million, but still remained the year's most watched event.

In comparison, Barack Obama's presidential inauguration drew 37.8m viewers.

It was the most expensive year for company's to place an ad during the big game, costing as much as $3m for a 30-second spot.

Doritos also scored well with a second Super Bowl ad, in which a man is given super powers by the crunch of the crisps.'s "enhanced" ad topped TiVo's Stop Watch poll, which measures the number of times a particular ad is rewound and rewatched using TiVo's recording function.

The ad features a trial hearing, mocking the US' Major League Baseball steroid enhancement trials, instead with cosmetically "enhanced" swimsuit models.

However, the two ads were negatively talked about online in blogs and on Twitter.'s off-kilter ad was a blogosphere favourite, featuring a spectacle-wearing koala getting punched in the face.

ETrade, which regularly scores well among internet users with its talking baby ads, repeated the format this year with two babies singing 'Broken Wings'.

US talk show host Conan O'Brien featured in a Bud Light ad which spoofed Swedish culture.

Actor Alec Baldwin starred in an ad for online video sharing site Hulu, in which he reveals the company's plot to take over the world.

Reprise Media, which ranked the Super Bowl ads according to the level of integration between the television ads and its online presence, put eTrade's talking baby ad at the top of its list.

ETrade used outtakes to create a build-up in the weeks leading up to the game, using paid search to maximise traffic to its website by linking to searches for keywords such as "taking babies".

Cash4Gold, a company that exchanges cash for gold jewellery also scored well on Reprise's integration poll.

It created buzz before the big game using YouTube and paid search for its ad featuring US broadcasting legend Ed McMahon and former rap artist MC Hammer.

Denny's Super Bowl ad, which offered a free breakfast for everyone in America was a hit among internet users but scored low on the Reprise poll due to the fact that no URL was included in the ad to tell viewers how to get their free breakfast.

Soon after the ad aired, the Denny's website crashed and remained down for the rest of the game.

DreamWorks and SoBe's much hyped 3D ads, for which thousands of pairs of 3D glasses were distributed around the US were considered a disappointment, as many viewers simply forgot their glasses, or were unable to put them on in time.

In the game, the Pittsburgh Steelers marched down the field to take in the championship with 30-seconds remaining on the clock.

In Tucson, Arizona, during the last three minutes of the game, the Super Bowl feed was mixed up with a feed from a porn channel, showing what was described as "full male nudity" and a "graphic act" for 30-seconds.

Tucson-based KVOA-TV, which aired the mixed-up feed eventually apologised, saying it was "dismayed and disappointed" at the error.

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