Doritos and PepsiCo’s in-house agency, Sips & Bites, have unveiled ‘Doritos Silent, the world’s first AI augmented snack – powered by Crunch Cancellation technology.
The groundbreaking technology lets PC gamers enjoy their favorite chips without distracting other players.
The innovation followed a new research that revealed a strong demand across the globe for an innovative solution that eliminates crunching sounds while gaming, even though 85 percent of gamers chose Doritos as their snack of choice.
In the UK, a third (35%) of gamers claim the sound of someone snacking frustrates them when playing, while one in five (18%) gamers saying the sound makes them want to log off, with crisps identified as the worst audio culprit.
“The connection between Doritos fans and the gaming community is undeniable,” said Fernando Kahane, global marketing head at PepsiCo. “Both boldly and unapologetically embrace their individual flavors. ‘Doritos Silent’ recognises this bond and demonstrates the brand’s continued commitment to innovation and elevating the experience for gamers who choose Doritos.”
To cement Doritos as a top choice for gamers by allowing them to enjoy the crunch without distracting fellow players, Doritos and Sips & Bites have created the first ever silent chip, Doritos Silent: delivering the same crunch, but with no sound. Powered by the innovative Crunch Cancellation technology, the sound of someone’s voice is separated in real time from the noise of the Doritos crunch. The AI then stops the crunch audio from being sent down the microphone – meaning all PC gamers can enjoy that famous crunch without it distracting them and their squad from winning.
A teaser launch of a new Doritos Silent product fed off natural intrigue, with the disruptive image of a Dorito in an ear across OOH and digital intensifying speculation, before the Doritos Crunch Cancellation technology was revealed.
Designed in partnership with Smooth Technology, a leader in electronic and interactive design, the new technology took six months to develop and involved the technical analysis of more than 5,000 different crunch sounds.
“Working with Doritos to create this cutting-edge technology has been an incredible journey,” said Dylan Fashbaugh, the lead developer at Smooth Technology. “We all know that gamers love Doritos, but that unmistakable crunch can often disrupt those intense gaming moments. With ‘Doritos Silent,’ we’ve worked to ensure gamers can enjoy the crunch of Doritos without disturbing their fellow players, making for a better gaming experience.”
The campaign kicked off by teasing the launch of a Doritos Silent “product”, with attention-grabbing adverts at four high footfall OOH locations. Shown at Piccadilly Circus, Mare St (Hackney), Liverpool and Birmingham as well as across digital, it featured a divisive creative of a Doritos chip placed in an ear alongside the tag: “You won’t hear it coming”. A microsite continued to tease gamers, inviting them to cancel the crunch.
Digital and social content finally revealed the AI-augmented product, showcasing the technology in action for two gamers. The ad signs off with a ‘Game on, Crunch off’ tagline.
“Our Crunch Cancellation tech delivers an entirely new snacking experience to gamers – the “Doritos Silent” experience. What we loved is how the concept is so intriguing to people; how on earth can you silence the iconic crunch of a Doritos? It’s this immediate curiosity that was the spark behind our big idea as we teased a new Doritos Silent “product”, Matt Watson, executive creative director for Sips & Bites, at PepsiCo, said commented.
“People immediately asked “what?” and “how?” and the disruptive image of an actual Dorito in an ear escalated the buzz, before we revealed it to be the world’s first AI Augmented Silent Snack. By silencing one of our biggest assets, we made it even louder.”
Karina Stoltz, senior brand manager UK – Doritos at PepsiCo, added: “Gaming is a massive industry worth over £7bn, and is particularly enjoyed by Gen Z – a key demographic for Doritos. We know that the nation loves the satisfying crunch of Doritos, but listening to someone else enjoy them can be off-putting, particularly when concentrating while gaming. This concept isn’t a gimmick – it’s the real deal. The campaign aims to provoke immediate buzz and asks the questions, ‘how is it possible to silence the famous Doritos crunch’? ‘Crunch Cancellation’ software is simple to use and can identify over three million crunches in real time and silences them from travelling down the microphone.”
By expanding this new technology to all PC gamers, Doritos hopes its silence can benefit the 80 percent of millennials and Gen Z who classify themselves as gamers.
Doritos teased the idea of ‘making Doritos silent’ with social media and out-of-home advertisements that featured Doritos chips in-place of noise-cancelling headphones in the UK, US, Spain, Poland, Brazil and Portugal promising that ‘you won’t hear it coming.’
The brand-new software can be downloaded for free from Doritos.co.uk/SILENT. Once activated, play with friends and the software will eliminate all traces of Doritos crunching.