Cannes Lions

Can't Touch This

GOODBY SILVERSTEIN & PARTNERS, San Francisco / CHEETOS / 2020

Awards:

1 Grand Prix Cannes Lions
1 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
Supporting Images
Supporting Images
Supporting Images

Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Background

By 2019, Cheetos had seemingly reached its growth limit. Household penetration had plateaued, and the brand was losing share in the salty-snack category.

To attract new households into the Cheetos franchise, the brand planned to launch a new product innovation—Cheetos Popcorn.

However, the popcorn subcategory overwhelmingly touts “simple,” “healthy” and “wholesome” as attractive benefits. The big players of SkinnyPop and BOOMCHICKAPOP pride themselves on being easy “on the go” snacks. Popcorn is marketed as the snacking choice for those looking for a “better for you” option.

Cheetos had a tough task. The eating experience is messy, sticky and overwhelmingly orange, and it’s unlikely you’ll be doing anything else or be “on the go” while eating it.

Our brief? Break into a snack subcategory that stands for everything Cheetos doesn’t, surpassing sales goals and bringing new households into the Cheetos franchise.

Idea

Strategically, we needed to turn our product weakness into an aspirational strength. So creatively, we leaned in to the power of the Cheetos dust. We brought the dust to life as a superpower that gets people out of monotony and into mischief.

Taking the brand back to the Super Bowl for the first time in 10 years, we teased our comeback by giving Cheetle some unexpected new meaning, revealing the true inspiration behind MC Hammer’s greatest hit, “U Can’t Touch This.” And on game day, we took this new meaning a step further, showing how Cheetle gives our hero a surprising superpower and excuse to get out of things since, well, he can’t touch anything.

Our TV campaign was surrounded by an integrated social campaign that officially named and claimed the term Cheetle, leveraging our mischievous mascot, Chester, and launching a Cheetle finger detector that unlocks exclusive digital content.

Execution

Cheetos is a highly nostalgic snack. Especially for our core Millennial audience. When we were thinking about which music to choose for this brand—and this commercial—finding a track that tapped into nostalgia was one of the most important tasks. MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” is more than just a cult classic; its chorus is one of the most widely known collections of lyrics ever created. But while the lyrics are easy to recall, the meaning behind them is a mystery to most. The most distinctive Cheetos asset—orange cheesy fingertips—basically keeps people from doing anything else. You can’t touch things while you eat Cheetos without staining them orange—a fact that brings back memories for our audience. When we landed on this insight, MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” was the perfect fit.

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