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THE ASK

Create buzz around RITZ Toasted Chips at the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. In just five days, we created this campaign and presented it to the RITZ team at Mondelēz and The Martin Agency. My team was the only first-year team selected to compete against second-year students. 

THE FINDING

There aren't many toasted chips out there. (Really, there's only one other big brand.) But, there are a lot of losing moments in March Madness. 67 to be exact. 

 

THE STRATEGY

RITZ will own the toasted chip space by baking the word "toasted" into March Madness venacular. Forget busted brackets. We're calling them toasted brackets, and RITZ is going to bring some levity to the losing moments of the tournament. 

Toasted Debt for Toasted Brackets

Did you get nearly every prediction wrong on your bracket? Well, RITZ wants you to submit your toasted bracket. The cracker brand is hosting the first-ever bracket competition that incentivizes bad picks, and the winner gets their student debt canceled.

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The U.S. Toastal Service

Did your buddy's team get toasted? Send them a free bag of RITZ Toasted Chips, and you will both be entered to win tickets to the championship game. 

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The Toastradamus Trophy

Toastradamus will sit court-side throughout March Madness, drawing media attention and creating confusion. Throughout the tournament, RITZ will drop hints on social media that the tropy only appears at games that are expected to be upsets—in other words, people are expecting brackets to get toasted. 

 

After the championship, RITZ will award the trophy to the most bracket-toasting team of the tournament. Everyone loves a good Cinderella story. 

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Toastgame Pop-Up Bars

We can’t all be winners. To help loyal fans blow off steam, RITZ will host pop-up bars at the college campuses of losing teams. A toast to the toasted.

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Why This Works

Let's be real. This campaign is just ridiculous enough to work. When Kenny "The Jet" starts saying a bracket got "toasted" instead of "busted" or that a team got "toasted" instead of "roasted," RITZ will have won.

 

RITZ is a positive brand that brings people joy—just like this campaign—and the brand would believe in making the best of a crummy situation. Pun (for better or worse) intended. 

Strategy: Kennedy Thompson

Art Direction: Kendall Boron and Lindsey Evans

Copywriting: Mark McColey and Miles Hansen

Experience Design: Travis Fairman

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