The New Doritos Logo and De-Branding : Lessons in Marketing to Gen Z

doritos snack pack

Gen Z has a big say in today’s marketing and advertising tactics. They’re so influential, they’re the reason Doritos has a new logo.

You read that right: Gen Z was the reason behind Doritos’ new logo. It’s a story worth telling, especially if you’re a business trying to reach the younger generation.

In 2019, the big chip brand ditched its original logo and tagline to appeal to the younger generation. From its iconic tagline “For the Bold,” Doritos pivoted its campaign by encouraging customers to take what they love to “Another Level.”

Doritos’ new logo removed its iconic bold logo (which is often designed with the chips) and replaced it with a minimalist triangle design paired with the words “Logo Goes Here.” The brand hoped that the new Doritos logo will help fans recognize the chip-shaped icon, the classic colors of their bags and other notable brand attributes, like cheese dust.

Why Did Doritos Change Their Logo?

As mentioned above, Gen Z (people between the ages of 8 and 22) was the reason behind the new Doritos logo. The brand’s “Another Level” campaign aimed to reach younger consumers who are used to ad-free viewing experiences on Netflix and other streaming platforms. Instead of investing in traditional channels like print and broadcast TV, the chip brand pushed into digital media, which is where you’ll find tech-savvy teens and young adults often.

According to Doritos, members of Gen Z spend more time watching videos compared to other age groups, with a strong focus on “snackable” content. Kids are spending more time-consuming content, but they prefer content that “gets to the point” ASAP, which means none of the gimmicks. Just get to the message — which is what Doritos did.

Removing product names and logos is a risky marketing strategy, especially if your business is new.

But Doritos is a popular brand in the US, suggesting that the brand’s signature triangle shape is iconic enough for audiences of all ages to recognize. On top of that, they used video shopping ads and AR Snapchat Lens when they premiered a new Doritos logo at the MTV Video Music Awards. Doritos placed their new logo on platforms where most Gen Z-ers dwell.

How Doritos Changed Their Logo, Packaging and Everything Else

Doritos’ “Another Level” campaign featured plain bag chips with a sole triangle-shaped design on it, which was accompanied with hashtags, like “cheesy,” “cool” or “spicy.” Apart from changing the iconic Doritos bag, the brand launched a 60-second “Anti-Ad” on YouTube.

The “Anti-Ad” features a lot of triangles — chicken coop, pyramid, a road sign — as well as the titular Doritos orange dust and the iconic head tilt to catch all of the crumbs. As for the ad itself, it’s direct to the point. It begins with the narrator stating that “The following is a paid message for chips so iconic you don’t have to name it,” which supports the removal of the noisy Doritos logo on the bags.

The entire ad features none of the iconic Doritos attributes because according to the voiceover, this ad has “no gimmicks, just those red and blue bags with the stuff you love in it.” Even the small legal print that appears at the bottom of ads appeals to the younger generation. It states that “lawyers love to spoil the fun” and asks their viewers to “pretend you didn’t see it.”

Apart from its “Anti-Ad” video, Doritos also changed its website address to and Twitter handle to @Logo_Goes_Here. On the website, customers were greeted with a landing page that asks, “What products? You already know.”

Ad-Free and All Digital: Is That the Key to Advertising to Gen Z?

Doritos’ de-branding in 2019 was an effort to reach consumers who weren’t big fans of ads. Growing up in a digital age where instant gratification is a thing, Gen Z prefers ad-free experiences or ads that get to the message ASAP. According to Rachel Ferdinando, the senior vice-president of Frito-Lay’s marketing arm, the de-branding and move to digital campaigns are a rejection of traditional advertising.

The brand also recognized that Gen Z and other younger generations are immediately turned off by loud, blatant and excessive promotional marketing. As a result, Doritos took it to “another level” by going minimalist with their logos and ads.

Marketing To Gen Z: How You Can Take it to Another Level

Doritos’ new logo teaches more than just being minimalistic (a key logo design trend in the previous year), so you can attract more Gen Z customers. It teaches two things: Gen Z has a say in today’s marketing and you’d be missing out on opportunities if you’re not marketing to this generation.

Millennials may be currently the biggest generation right now, but Gen Z is on its heels. Today’s teenagers and young 20-somethings make up 25.9 percent of the U.S. population. It is also reported that Gen Z possesses a buying power worth $44 billion, but when you factor in their influence on home purchases and their parents, their spending power is close to $200 billion.

So, just like Doritos, don’t underestimate the younger generation’s buying power.

When it comes to marketing to Gen Z, listening to what they want is always a good start. Take it from Doritos; they knew that Gen Z did not like gimmicky ads. Instead of bombarding teens and young adults with loud ads, they chose to de-brand.

However, de-branding often works well if you’re a big and well-known brand like Doritos. You can still give a minimalistic approach to marketing a try, but there are also other ways to market to the younger generation.

Drop Traditional Marketing Methods for Gen Z

Doritos chips on orange background
Photo by Tamas Pap on Unsplash

Doritos’ Ferdinando called the brand’s de-branding a rejection of traditional advertising, which is a practice you’ll have to accept in today’s marketing scene.

Gen Z prefers to watch relatable and real people in their marketing campaigns. Paid actors in commercials aren’t enough to do the job (and they don’t always make the cut).

The people in your ads must share the same beliefs or struggles as Gen Z.

Your services and products should also meet their needs and provide value to them. If you’re trying to sell something to Gen Z audiences for the sake of selling, you’re not going to make it. Instead, go for a storytelling approach. Explain to your younger audiences how your services and products can help them. Make sure your sales pitch is easy to understand and relevant.

Create Quick and Effective Content

This part can be tricky. You need to tell your story, but can you do it in eight seconds or less?

Gen Z has an attention span of eight seconds, so you need to get their attention within that short time frame. It sounds like a difficult task, but fortunately, social media can help you out. If you have Snapchat, Tiktok, Instagram or Facebook, you can start making quick ads with quality content.

Snapchat Stories, Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories allow users to share content for 15 seconds or less. These stories will stay up on your profile for a day.

If you can create photo ads or video content that last eight seconds and speak to your Gen Z audience, it’ll be easier to engage with them.

Be the Business They Can Look Up To

TOMS shoes were popular with millennials, not just because they were great shoes, but because they provided a pair of shoes to the less fortunate for every pair of shoes you bought from them. Their good cause resulted in millennials supporting them.

It’s no different with your Gen Z audience. They also want to positively change the world, so they work with brands that can do the same. Brands opting to take an active part in key social, economic and environmental issues has been a consistent trend for businesses to position themselves in the market. Think about what matters to your business and include that in your marketing strategy.

The new look of the Doritos logo in 2019 did more than just impress Gen Z. They emphasized the reality of changing your marketing game for a younger audience. Take a leaf out of Doritos’ book; take your marketing campaign to Another Level today.

Scroll to Top