Weekly Re-Brand #20: Doritos

Welcome to the Blade Weekly Re-Brand, a place for us to take a quick look at some of the rebranding going on in the world and give a quick impression of what went right and what went wrong.

Recently, Doritos has unveiled a new logo and packaging design that’s a bit of a departure from their previous look.

The old Doritos (left) vs. the new Doritos (right).
The old Doritos (left) vs. the new Doritos (right).

What was wrong with the old Doritos?
Doritos, owned by PepsiCo, follows in its parent company’s tradition of re-branding every few years in order to attempt to keep the brand fresh and youth-oriented. Unfortunately, this leads to at least as many misses as it does hits, and a whole lot of brand confusion. The most recent-prior Doritos was sporting a life-line-in-the-shape-of-a-chip design that was supposed to convey … something? Spiciness, I suppose, and the extreme lifestyle that naturally follows eating lots of Doritos.

Up close with the new Doritos packaging.
Up close with the new Doritos packaging.

Does the new version fix the problem?
The life-line is gone, but the triangle chip-shape remains, surrounding a toned-down, more-legible, less-italicized wordmark. Honestly, this new packaging design is a bit cleaner, although now instead of the Doritos themselves being the centerpiece, we have a new element: A Dorito is being dipped (extremely) into a jar of Doritos-brand salsa. So that exists now.

Pictured above: Extreme salsa dipping.
Pictured above: Extreme salsa dipping.

What new problems are introduced?
In all seriousness, this is a brand that gets past its often awful branding by relying on the fact that Doritos taste pretty good. They’re an exciting party chip, an indicator that someone shelled out for the good stuff. This new salsa-oriented design undermines that – it says “I also need to buy salsa to dip these Doritos in.” The one thing that separates Doritos from any old tortilla chips is that they have (extreme) flavour built in; you don’t need salsa! By trying to sell us salsa, Doritos may actually be hindering their own greatest strength.

Is it an overall improvement?
Overall, the package is cleaner, the wordmark is arguably improved, and the extremeness is toned down a notch. Not bad, but I do think that pushing salsa may come back to haunt Doritos. I give this one a maybe.

Do you think the new Doritos packaging is an improvement?

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