What Makes Flat Matthew Back to 3D?

Matthew McConaughey looked flatter than normal during the 2021 Super Bowl. What happened?

“Lately, I just, haven’t been feeling quite like myself. Life used to feel.. fuller” said McConaughey in the Doritos’ commercial, as he showed off his completely flat body when he woke up.

The Doritos 3D ad is silly yet eye-catching. It made the audiences laugh as we follow through all the clumsy moments in a normal day with the actor’s 2D form — he went flying as he attempted to catch a football, getting sucked into the vacuum cleaner, and making fun by Jimmy Kimmel, who humorously asked if he traveled by fax. This one-minute ad concludes as he found the answer to be back to 3D form is a package of 3D Doritos in a vending machine.

I think the moment when McConaughey got his coffee is engaging. When the coffee is ready, the barista called “Matthew?” twice and didn’t notice he was just standing right there as he disappeared from view when turning to the side.

This ad tells a story that pulls the audience in. It is like a mini-movie with a full storyline. The scene changes naturally and has a smooth transition to the end when the 3D Doritos makes flat Matthew back to 3D — a smart way to introduce the product without pushing so hard.

This ad might seem peculiar but it actually well-aligned with Doritos’ brand story and message. Doritos’s brand positioning is funny, inspiring, and adventurous. The brand introduces that Doritos is “not just a chip” but “it’s fuel for disruption” on its official website. Not surprisingly, iSpot.tv shows that the top emotion associated with this Super Bowl ad from the audiences is “curiosity”.

From a marketing perspective, it’s an example of a successful earned media campaign in the digital era. The ad achieves a total of 8,635,139 online views and 36,800 social actions on tweets, Facebook, YouTube, and iSpot.tv as of Feb.14, 2021. It stands out from the clutter and ranked #8 as the highest-performing campaign by digital share of voice with a breakthrough score of 687 (4% above norm) recorded by iSpot.tv.

What I liked about this commercial is more than the content got me roaring with laughter — the ad addresses the current social issue due to the coronavirus outbreak. Since the pandemic, our daily interactions are now virtually from screen to screen. People on screens for school, for work, and for connecting with family and friends during this time of social distancing. This new norm indeed makes us living under a 2D form as what flat Matthew encountered. We all want to feel “fuller” and go back to “3D life”. The message of the ad tells us that consuming Doritos 3D Crunch is the solution to go back to the good old days.

It’s a smart move for Doritos to debut its new 3D crunch product during Super Bowl LV. As we all know, Super Bowl fans are seeking live experiences on the game day. By consuming Doritos 3D, everything will be “fuller” when watching the game on the couch.

This commercial effectively captures our emotions by including the obstacles during the pandemic, tackling the issue with the product benefits, and telling a full story without sacrificing the brand’s whimsical and funny messages.

The background music “I want to break free” goes well with the storyline. The lyrics have been stuck in my head for days after watching the ad…

Hope you enjoy the commercial as I do. Ok now. I’m going to buy and try out this Doritos 3D Crunch!



thoughts and reflections on digital-first marketing from NYUSPS Integrated Marketing Grad Students

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Ann Yang

MarTech Professional • Fashion Marketing • Grad Student at NYU in Integrated Marketing