Sunday, March 6, 2016

Doritos & It Gets Better: Taking a Stand for LGBT Youth

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One of my favorite collaborations in recent memory was the unlikely union of a snack food company and a charity for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Doritos utilized its worldwide popularity to raise over a hundred thousand dollars for the It Gets Better Project, a charity whose funds go to providing LGBT youth with life-changing messages of hope and support as well as access to vital resources. The company and charity have overlapping target audiences - namely, millennials - which made the partnership a perfect fit. Despite pushback from a minority of older customers who opposed the open display of advocacy for gay marriage and transgender rights, the campaign was a great success in that it both illustrated Doritos' commitment to fight for equality and helped the It Gets Better Project to spread its message.

In the fall of 2015, the chip company shared on social media that anyone who donated ten dollars to the non-profit through a special link would receive a limited-edition bag of rainbow-colored, pride flag-inspired Doritos while supplies lasted. This clever incentive prompted thousands to donate and share their snack on social media once their personalized box arrived, ensuring that the display of support would be spread throughout Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

While this campaign was relatively simple, it was arguably brilliant. From the exclusive nature of the multi-colored chips to the impactful show of acceptance for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, Doritos managed to strategically affirm its socially-conscious image to reach the millennial market while inspiring hope among LGBT youth and their supporters. As Brett Peters, spokesman for the It Gets Better Project, told AdWeek: "A young LGBT person seeing that their favorite chip is on their side will show them that they have friends in more places than they know."

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