The tale of Esteban Ortega

They should make this into a feature length film.

This may just be the only crisp advert ever to win an oscar.

I started to cry at the end. Beautiful!!!

High praise indeed from the critics, haters and the opinionated of YouTube. So what got them purring? Well, surprisingly enough an advert for Doritos, featuring dorito-flicking champion, Esteban Ortega. The advert tells the sorry rags-to-riches-then-back-again story of the local Mexican hero, a man with few words but a knack for hurling potato chips with startling accuracy. A reflective kind of champion, who could shatter a line of 10 beer bottles with just 9 chips, has a fondness for cars and a cool, non-blinking stare, but when it comes to losing, struggles to get back onto that dorito-dipping cart – until many years later, when he throws that final chip. And ay caramba, is it going take a lot of doritos to beat him.

The advert is part of an integrated campaign by AMV BBDO to get the British crisp (or I should say ‘chip’) eater dipping and dunking their Dorito into a range of Doritos sauces, as apparently unlike Americans and now Mexicans, this eating habit is adhered to by a rare 3/10 of UK population. My explanation for this being that the British love for savoury snacks is so strong, that one small pot of guatemala sauce is not going to get in the way of rapid consumption. Thus, while I would willingly bet gold on the Brits winning a Dorito-eating contest, for a chip throwing competition I am not so sure. I rather fear that the competitor’s aim will tarnished by the beer at their side, while the distance of the throw would met by the tight armspace of the living room. Nevertheless, the challenge is on.

AMV have produced the ‘Dip Desperado’ campaign as both an app (available to download for free as Android or iPhone application) and on Facebook. The aim being to take on Esteban, somewhat bravely, and compete for real-world prizes; this all roughly equates to spending hours of watching flying alarmingly huge Doritos, while dodging Mexican flies and cacti (in efforts to beat your Facebook friends… youch!). All-in-all a bit of a Mexican cliche, but enjoyable nonetheless. It is also interesting to see users playing the app as the outcome and call of action from the TV advert – a pleasant shift away from the typical “eat me” and “multi-pack half price”.

I guess, in a slightly paradoxical way, that this is why I like this advert so much – it does not appear like your average advert. It is long, has a story that mainly makes sense (bar the missing middle years of Esteban’s life), is true to the style of a spaghetti western and I feel tied to the character and the strangely enticing plot – the fact that is Doritos curling through the air seems secondary to Esteban’s skill and admirable modesty. As such, there is a strong sense of viewers wanting to be like Esteban (frankly who wouldn’t?), as well as Esteban becoming a bit of a new hero. Superman move over.

The man himself


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