Doritos Creates Chip-Faced Stand-Up Comic to Support and/or Cause Mental Health Issues
In Australia, one in three young people is struggling with mental health issues, according to ReachOut, a Down-Under online service devoted to anonymous help and support. Multinational brand Doritos has decided to get on board to amplify ReachOut’s message. Unfortunately, help has arrived in the form of Chippy, a Dorito-faced stand-up comic who looks like a wisecracking nightmare.
Chippy, with his Flamin’ Hot Cool Ranch face and Clutch Cargo mouth, may not qualify as the face you want to turn to when you’re having an anxiety attack. He seems pretty chill, but that face, man. I’ve never tried Ayahuasca, partly because I’m afraid my shaman will melt into something that looks like Chippy.
But let’s move past Chippy’s terrifying looks and listen to his message. The talking snack seems pretty self-effacing, joking about how audience members are licking their lips in anticipation of eating him, which, yeah, would cause anxiety in anyone. So he turns to ReachOut to talk about sorry dating experiences like kissing someone on the cheek and getting Dorito dust all over their face. Hey, chip happens! Relatable.
Not to be cynical, but maybe Chippy’s concern for Gen Z’s mental health would seem more sincere if he wasn’t shouting the “Doritos — BE BOLD!” advertising tagline during heartfelt musings about his own anxieties. It’s a commercial masquerading as compassion, which means it doesn’t work as either.
Much funnier than Chippy’s stand-up is Doritos marketing gurus justifying the campaign. “Doritos is all about being bold, and talking about mental health is one of the boldest things you can do,” explains a creative brief speaking through Chief Marketing Officer Vandita Pandey. Right, exactly. Diving into a bag of 3D Crunch Spicy Ranch is just like reaching out to a therapist in a moment of crisis. Doritos claims it wants to inspire young people to take action, so “what better way than turning the iconic Doritos chip into such a distinct, fun and relatable character,” adds Pandey. “Seeing Chippy share his story with the bold vulnerability that typifies stand-up comedy is something we truly hope will inspire young people to be bold and reach out for their own mental health.”
What better way than turning an iconic chip into a “fun” character? For starters, what if Doritos just quietly donated a bunch of cash to ReachOut to support its youth mental health efforts? That would definitely go further in actually reaching struggling young people than cringe YouTube videos that get ridiculed by idiots like me.
Doritos did one smart thing with the campaign, though: By establishing Chippy as a struggling, up-and-coming comic, it justified the snack’s depressingly lame jokes. For some reason, being a terrible comedian is baked into the chip’s character. “Come see me in a few years,” Chippy quips on his YouTube channel. “I should be funny by then.”