For the last several years, Frito-Lay, the company that owns Doritos, has sponsored the Crash the Super Bowl contest. Consumers are invited to create their own Doritos ads and at least one fan-made commercial is guaranteed to air during the Super Bowl. Over the years Doritos offered bonus prizes ranging from $400,000 to $1,000,000 making the Crash the Super Bowl contest the largest online video contest in the world.
During this year’s Super Bowl, a Crash the Super Bowl Doritos commercial aired that riled up both the pro-life and the pro-abortion factions.
If you haven’t seen it, a mother is lying on an exam table looking at the ultrasound image of her baby while the baby’s father is standing alongside crunching on the contents of a bag of Doritos.
The next thing we see is the father waving a chip in front of the ultrasound image of the baby who, in turn, darts after the chip, eventually rocketing out of the womb in an attempt to grab the snack.
NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League) disliked the ad because it “humanized the fetus.”
An absolutely absurd statement that merits no further discussion here.
What happened after the commercial aired was interesting, albeit not entirely surprising; the pro-life community felt validated, stories about the real baby in the ultrasound (the director used the ultra sound of his own son, Freddy), and a great and growing vocal show of support for Doritos emerged on Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and grassroots efforts of the faithful to show Doritos how much the pro-life contingent appreciates their pro-life stand.[insert sound effect of needle scratching across record here...]
While I am, indeed, very happy that a human fetus was shown on national television, during the most highly watched broadcast of the year, for what it, in fact, is–a living human being; and while I’m very happy to show support for any corporate entity that will, at least, not negate the humanity of a baby in the womb, I’m a tad apprehensive about crawling up on that “DORITOS: FRIEND OF THE FAITHFUL!” bandwagon.
Last year Doritos decided to jump on the LGBT bandwagon (while we’re talking about bandwagons) and it released limited-edition rainbow colored chips.
The company produced the chips in order to “celebrate and support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the boldest, most colorful way possible.”
The Roy G. Biv chips were inspired by the gay pride flag and were only available to consumers who donated $10 to the It Gets Better Project.
What is the It Gets Better Project? In theory, the mission of the organization isn’t altogether horrible. It’s an organization that supports LGBT youth around the world. Basically, life as an LGBT youth is terribly difficult (which I’m sure it its) and the IGBP was formed “In response to a number of students taking their own lives after being bullied in school, they wanted to create a personal way for supporters everywhere to tell LGBT youth that, yes, it does indeed get better.” Unfortunately instead of leading these youth in a direction similar to that of the Catholic apostolate, Courage:
“The heart of Courage and EnCourage spirituality, based on the writings of Saint Francis de Sales and The Five Goals of Courage, is the belief that sanctity is possible in everyday life. Through the Courage Apostolate those persons experiencing same-sex attractions are encouraged to deepen their Christian discipleship through participation in the sacramental life of the Church, particularly through the frequent reception of the Eucharist and frequent confession, as well as through a regular prayer life, witness, counsel, service, and self-giving. By developing a dedicated prayer life and seeking meditative and prayerful union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we come to recognize our true identity as children of God, men and women in Christ, understanding and experiencing the unconditional love of God, thus conforming ourselves to His will for our lives. Fr. Harvey recognized this transformation as a process requiring great patience and perseverance, where “white-knuckled chastity” will give way to “interior chastity of the heart,” when a soul truly seeks wholeness and holiness in Christ.”
the IGBP’s mission is to be, “a place where young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future. It’s a place where our straight allies can visit and support their friends and family members.”
In 2010 a filmmaker from Pennsylvania produced a Crash the Super Bowl entry that featured the products Doritos and Pepsi Max. The commercial was entitled “Feed Your Flock” and the story featured an older man in a Roman collar and a younger man in a Roman collar discussing how they might pay all of their invoices and get the church out of debt.
Wait a minute! Divine intervention! We’ll have a “Free Doritos and Pepsi Max Sunday!”
Now, the imagery throughout this commercial is a mish-mash of Protestant, Catholic, and non-denominational, so it’s difficult to say that which particular faith is being mocked; however, the climax of the commercial features the congregation all lining up, approaching the “priests” and receiving a Dorito chip and a small glass of Pepsi Max in what is clearly a mockery of the reception of Holy Communion.
If you want to watch the whole thing for yourself, you can find it on YouTube here
Word leaked out about this entry and a number of Catholic blogs and websites put out the word to pray for reparation. Calls and emails flooded Pepsi demanding that Feed your Flock not win the Crash the Super Bowl contest. Finally, CatholicMom.com blogger Victoria Gisondi, posted the following: “Great News! Thanks to all the phone calls, prayers and comments, Pepsi has informed a friend that the commercial didnt [sic] make the cut. I still need to verify this but it’s great news. Thanks for your help.”
Here we are, six years later, and we’re in love with Doritos.
It is very difficult to be a Catholic in today’s culture.
Adobe, American Cancer Society, American Express, AT&T, Avon, Bank of America, Bath & Body Works, Ben & Jerry’s, Clorox, Converse, Deutsche Bank, Dockers, Energizer, Expedia, ExxonMobil, Fannie Mae, Groupon, Intuit, Johnson & Johnson, La Senza, Levi Strauss, Liberty Mutual, Macy’s, March of Dimes, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Nike, Oracle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Progressive, Starbucks, Susan G. Komen, Tostitos, Unilever, United Way, Verizon, Wells Fargo are all companies that have directly funded Planned Parenthood. Do we boycott them all? We should. But we don’t.
So Doritos ran a contest-winning commercial that showed a baby in the womb. Just because they didn’t show it being destroyed by saline and then dissected and vacuumed out doesn’t mean they’re a new champion of life.
All I’m saying is just proceed with caution.