Lucy In The Sky With … Doritos?


Skywriting takes advertising to a whole new level.

Skywriting – planes using smoke to write messages in the sky – isn’t a lost art. It’s more of an underused art. Companies that want to fly their messages above Big Events typically resort to slow-flying planes towing message banners.

But give it up for Doritos. The snack company’s ad agency not only nailed one of Super Bowl 50’s memorable in-game commercials, it also gained attention by using skywriting.

Sunday’s weather was highly cooperative. The sky above Santa Clara was azure and alluring. It provided the perfect “parchment” for writing with smoke.

Doritos not only had the chip name spelled out in the sky along with some other messaging, it also aroused curiosity by having the skywriters form triangles with the smoke.

That led some on the ground to wonder about hidden messages (“Is this from the Illuminati?” “Did trigonometry teachers pay for this?” “Is this a Silicon Valley in-your-face message from North Carolina’s Research Triangle?”)

But all you had to do was read between the “three” lines – the triangles were merely representing the shape of Doritos chips.

The mystery added to the message. Advertising is about drawing attention to your product and – as evidenced by the fact you’re reading this story – Doritos was as dominant as Denver’s pass rush.




Written by Wendell Barnhouse

Wendell Barnhouse is a veteran journalist with over 40 years of experience as a writer and an editor. For the last 30 years, he wrote about college sports but he has had an interest and curiosity about aviation since he was in grade school.

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