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HOMO LUDENS / ADVERGAMING -- Doritos Crash Course: using a game as a platform for advertising and branding


  Sun 22 Dec 2019


  doritos, gaming, ludens, games, brand, branding, marketing, advertising, digitalia, mk, media, perception, thought, awareness




In this paper, we seek to analyze the use of a game named Doritos Crash Course as an advertising piece for the Doritos brand. We discuss the hybridization of a video game experience and a branded content inside the gaming universe; also known as an advergaming strategy. Wanako Games developed the game in 2010 for the Xbox 360 console and this ludic content starts a series of related actions using entertainment for Doritos. As a digital downloadable content for the Xbox platform, the game could reach a great audience by the gap of few clicks and it establishes an interesting and strategic point to highlight in the contemporary ambient of marketing and communication. We intend to discuss the main points of Doritos Crash Course and explore some important information from the global gaming market. We understand that, in this context, video games could be considered a product to be sold and a media platform for advertising.

In Doritos Crash Course, the player controls his own Xbox avatar that must run in a type of fantastic roller coaster to reach the finishing point before time runs out. With rich visual graphics, the game is a fast and casual experience for all ages and already has downloadable expansions and even earned a sequel: the Doritos Crash Course 2. The game is free for download and consists in a 2.5D side-scrolling platform (essentially a 2D-like gameplay within a 3D environment) with online ranking that allows players all around the world to share their scores.

Doritos Crash Course has two features we would like to highlight: first of all, the game is an experience sponsored by Doritos and the brand appears in the beginning of each stage. The second important feature is the in-game advertising possibility inside some floating outdoors in the game interface. As we can see in the image below, the outdoor displays an ad for Crash Course 2 (the second game of the franchise) and it supports many types of advertising for the brand.