Instead of relying on awkward exposition or a clunky set-up, "#HeatWillCome" lets its fluffy winged star (and his smiley human co-star) do the talking
8 / 10
If you were looking for some silly distraction from another week of pulling your hair out over news and currents affairs, look no further than Doritos’ latest campaign.
Taking a page from Old Spice’s famous, and famously surreal, online video campaigns, Doritos’ offering comes in support of their intimidatingly-named Heatburst crisps.
How do you illustrate through metaphor what it’s like to eat a Heatburst chip, you ask? Of course, the obvious answer is owning a baby dragon.
Brought to us by AMV BBDO and Biscuit’s Jeff Low, the spot finds a young man struggling with the trials and tribulations of living with the aforementioned dragon. While the dragon looks like an adorable cast-off from some never-aired Jim Henson show, our lovable hero soon finds his orange, plush companion a trifle meddlesome in a number of situations – at a party birthday (it sets the cake on fire), at the park (it sets the frisbee on fire) and at a mini-golf course (can you guess?).
Besides its goofy premise and Technicolor visuals, "#HeatWillCome" is notable for being a comedy ad that actually manages to be funny. We often talk about the risks inherent in trying to produce a humorous online advert.
After all, other reactions (like inspiration or joy) are shown to be more universal in viewers, while humour’s mileage can vary tremendously. What is funny to one person may be stultifying and dull to someone else – and there’s few things more cringe-inducing than a punchline failing to land. But like those aforementioned Old Spice campaigns, Doritos has managed to carefully tread that line.
So how do you they manage it? Firstly, its campaign is primarily visual, which is a tremendous boon. Instead of relying on awkward exposition or a clunky set-up, ‘#HeatWillCome" lets its fluffy winged star (and his smiley human co-star) do the talking.
Secondly, the spot doesn’t overstay its welcome. Clocking in at 40 seconds, the ad ends right when you want it to, with the baby dragon shooting off in a hot air balloon. Of course, as with all things online, it doesn’t hurt that the dragon itself is really rather cute.
Whether eating Doritos’ Heatburst crisps are in anyway akin to owning a Baby Dragon, you’ll have to determine for yourself. For the record, the grocery retail trades report that the crisps are boosted "by mini chilli capsules" which explode when you start to chew, producing a "deliciously spicy two-flavour sensation". Though this sounds more like the functioning of a Nasa two-stage rocket, we are ready to be convinced.
Certainly online viewers have been won around to the idea, with Doritos racking up more than 1,200,000 views on YouTube since the ad’s release last week. Once again, it’s simply impossible to tell whether that’s because of the sweet dragon or the novel snack concept.
In any case, we’re excited to see what wacky weirdness Doritos UK will produce next under its "For the bold" banner. Could this be the start of a British rival to Old Spice? Watch this spicy space.