After Crashing Super Bowl, Frito-Lay Drives Away From Event

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Super Bowl viewers won’t have ads for Frito-Lay chips and snacks to munch on during Super Bowl commercial breaks in 2017.

The PepsiCo-owned maker of Doritos, Cheetos, Fritos and Sun Chips, among other salty favorites, said it would not run an ad in Fox’s broadcast of Super Bowl LI in February of next year, with a spokesperson noting the gridiron classic “did not fit with our marketing plans.” The departure takes place after the company announced that Super Bowl 50 would feature its last “Crash the Super Bowl” contest. For a decade, the company solicited Doritos commercials from amateur filmmakers  and put the best of them up alongside Super Bowl ad giants like Bud Lite and Coca Cola.

PepsiCo continues to be associated with the Super Bowl. Its Pepsi sponsors the event’s halftime show, which next year is slated to feature Lady Gaga. PepsiCo spent $172 million on Super Bowl advertising between 2006 and 2015, according to data from Kantar, a tracker of ad spending.

The company’s decision was reported previously by Advertising Age.

The move means another longtime Super Bowl sponsor will pull away from the game – at least for the time being. GoDaddy stepped back from the Super Bowl last year, the first time it did so since aligning itself with the event in 2005. Toyota recently stated it would not advertise during Super Bowl LI, citing a marketing cycle for its Camry that required different timing that a February start.

Frito-Lay helped change the thinking behind Super Bowl commercials, which have always been among the most polished and thoroughly worked over of Madison Avenue’s regular output. Instead of turning people off with what were essentially pieces of content that were designed for YouTube and Vine, the gambit defied expectations. Doritos ads made in the contest placed high in the ranks of USA Today’s annual ratings of Super Bowl commercials.

The Super Bowl has long been a place for “snack-vertising.” In 2017, Mars’ Snickers and Skittles will take part, as will Avocados from Mexico, making its third consecutive appearance in the event.