I Just Gave Frito-Lay AllTheTostitos

You thought Auburn won all the Tostitos?  Not so much, since I just gave all the Tostitos to Frito-Lay… twice.

How I Got All the Tostitos in the First Place

If you have even a passing interest in American sports and you don’t live under a rock, you’ve probably heard the expression “all the Tostitos” a fair amount over the past ten days. Moments after Brent Musberger uttered the corporate-referencing final line (“this is for all the Tostitos”), social networks (primarily Twitter) started to blow up with #allthetostitos references.

As soon as Musberger said it, I knew it would go viral — so I jumped right on it, registering the @allthetostitos Twitter handle and http://www.allthetostitos.com.  A lot of domainers and developers would have stopped there — maybe putting a parked page up on the domain and cashing in a bit… not me.  Instead, I built out the website (staying up until 4:30 am after the BCS championship game) paying homage to the meme (using Twitter’s API, YouTube’s API, and some static content).

Traffic, links, and social mentions started to roll in.  Then I did something that a lot of domainers would think is crazy.  I contacted Frito-Lay and told them I wanted to give them @allthetostitos (and the accompanying website).

You see, I believe in the power of brands — that it’s possible to make a significant, positive impression in the minds of consumers; one that creates a tangible impact on long-term buyer loyalty.

I recognized this as a great opportunity for Frito-Lay to leverage an organic event to enhance their brand position.  I also knew that they wouldn’t be able to foster the growth of the meme without the right web presence.

Beyond that, I knew that I couldn’t manage the meme long-term… as funny as I think #allthetostitos is, I have my own job and websites to worry about.  Someone on their payroll could be a better brand-evangelist than I could in my (limited) spare time.

So How Does One Give Away All the Tostitos?

Thankfully, the people at Frito-Lay are pretty smart.  They hopped on the meme rather quickly, encouraging the use of the #allthetostitos hashtag on Twitter.  When I told them about http://www.allthetostitos.com, they responded enthusiastically to what I had created.  When I added that I wanted to give them all the Tostitos, it didn’t take long for them to accept the offer.  Color me impressed.

I know of several other domainers and web developers who had names that matched a company brand, slogan, etc. who were met with no response when they offered to give the names away.  At large companies, there’s often a bunch of red-tape to wade through before you can execute even the simplest of transactions.

Frito-Lay was the opposite — very responsive and agile, operating like a company of much smaller scale.  They recognized the opportunity and seized it.  The domain and Twitter account transfer were seamless.

What Becomes of All the Tostitos?

Today Frito-Lay started using the @allthetostitos Twitter account as the official Twitter account for the Tostitos brand.  They’ve wasted no time in putting the account to good use, as they’ve been giving out free bags of Tostitos today to some of the folks who mentioned them (@allthetostitos references).  I’ll be interested to follow the account and see exactly how they put it to use.

Here are some example tweets where they’re giving away product:

It’s worth noting that they changed the Twitter account’s URL to point to their Facebook page, and not allthetostitos.com any longer.  My guess is that they still haven’t entirely determined what they want to do with the site yet.

What Did I Get Out of It?

So I don’t have @allthetostitos anymore, and I don’t have allthetostitos.com either.  No truckloads of Tostitos have been unloaded at my house as of yet, either, though you never know what may come.  Frito-Lay hasn’t offered me a job (though, if they did, I’d be all ears).

It’s possible that as Frito-Lay begins using the account (and hopefully the website), that I’ll pull some press coverage, which would certainly be welcome.  Quite frankly, that’s the most I’m hoping for in terms of tangible benefit to me out of the whole deal.

But primarily, I get the satisfaction of knowing that I helped a brand connect with its consumers in a fun, community-driven way.  I get a great story out of the whole thing — a positive life experience.  If that’s all I get out of it, that’s enough for me; seems like a fair trade for all the Tostitos.

  • Very nice 🙂 I agree that trying to sell the domain or get money out of it directly would have been hard and maybe even stupid. What you did was smart and you are already profiting from it, maybe not financially, but it’s clearly being mentioned a lot, and it got my attention 🙂

  • Nice Eppie, how much you make out of it though??

  • Wow… Brilliant move. If you get any of those bright ideas for Bulwark Exterminating just give me a jingle… no pun intended.

  • Justsayin

    This is neat and everything, but did you ever think it may be a better idea to flip the name and donate the $$$ to charity? You’d still get plenty of publicity and would not have given a handout to Frito-Lay.

    • The problem with that approach is that Tostitos is a trademark. I could have been setting up the new buyer for a potential legal battle, which I have no interest in doing. What’s bad for the buyer is bad for the seller.

      I also don’t think the name would have fetched much at auction — it’s valuable IF Frito-Lay works to extend the life of the meme. If they let it die, it’s a worthless name.

      If I get huge publicity out of this and Frito-Lay or some other consumer packaged goods company offers to pay me ridiculous sums of money to manage a brand for them or run social media, I promise I’ll make a healthy charitable contribution.