Cheetos Gets Really, Really Weird With Orange Underground
After spending some time with Cheetos' new Orange Underground, a full blown movement "committed to transforming sterile order into messy mayhem," its primary purpose of urging people to do wacky Random Acts of Cheetos that don't involve eating makes perfect sense. After all, Cheetos aren't even food. They're just a bunch of man-made chemicals mixed together and placed in a bag. This campaign is much like the Mentos/Diet Coke thing whereby people were urged to perform all manner of chemical wizardry as opposed to actually consuming the products, both questionable, at best, as to whether or not they, too, are actual foods.
These kinds of strategies serve everyone's needs. The marketer makes money because people buy their product. The consumer has more fun and stays healthier by engaging in these games and contests than if they actually consumed the stuff. And, the marketers come out looking like heroes in front of junk food cause groups because they can respond to concerns, saying, "Hey we just want people to buy our products. We don't actually want them to consume the crap."
There's a few components to The Orange Underground campaign. First, there's a "commercial" that is one of the weirdest things we've ever seen. There's a laundromat, two women, one old dude and a Patrick Stewart-voiced, mischievous Chester Charlie who's there but not really. Weird.
Then there's the Orange Underground website which delivers its primary content in the form of a "we've hijacked the airways" style video (which changes a bit each time you view it) that explains the group's movement and leads to other items such as a poster which can be downloaded to spread the group's gospel. There's a fake news report covering the groups' Random Acts of Cheetos. There's a blog and a mysterious event that will occur on April Fool's Day. It all makes for an engaging experience. Even if we'd never actually eat the stuff.