Doritos Eliminates Crunch Sounds While Gaming
The ability to chat with friends and other people while gaming has changed the way we game forever. It unifies gamers from across the world and enhances gameplay, but it’s not without it’s drawbacks. There are a plethora of factors that can alter how your fellow gamers hear you on the other end, but one of the peskiest problems it that of crunchy foods. It’s not unusual to grab your favorite chips when sitting down for gaming, but it can be quite irritating for others on the other line to hear you chomping away while they focus on the game. Doritos’ UK arm, along with the people at Smooth Technology, a Brooklyn-based creative engineering and design studio, sought out a solution for those plagued by echoes of their friend’s favorite snack.
Introducing the “Doritos Silent” a downloadable technology that effectively works to eliminate the “crunch” sound from your audio.
The product is essentially a downloadable mic filter that will filter out your crunch sounds while eating and gaming. Since the noise of street sounds, wind whooshing, and others talking talking have all been addressed, it makes a lot of sense that Doritos wanted to develop a product for one of their most loyal fanbases who's need for sound cancellation goes beyond that of your average person. Afterall, a recent study showed that 85 percent of gamers chose Doritos as their snack of choice and that the crunch is one of the best parts, but an additional 45 percent of UK citizens say that other people crunching distracts them from playing well or impacts their performance. Doritos is hoping to reach the 80% of Gen Z and millennial consumers who view themselves as gamers, per NewZoo research cited in the press release.
"The connection between Doritos fans and the gaming community is undeniable," said Fernando Kahane, Global Marketing Head at PepsiCo. "Both boldly and unapologetically embrace their individual flavors. 'Doritos Silent' recognizes this bond and demonstrates the brand's continued commitment to innovation and elevating the experience for gamers who choose Doritos."
A marketing campaign for the mic filter ran in the U.S., U.K., Spain, Poland, Brazil and Portugal. Teasing the technology with images of someone inserting a Dorito in their ear (in place of a noise-cancelling headphone) with the tagline, “You wont hear it coming.” I’m all for making someone a little uncomfortable in the interest of getting their attention, and this certainly does the trick. If you’re the kind of person (like me) that is not a fan of ASMR sounds or eating sounds, you might want to skip this promotional video below, but it also means you might be a prime candidate to send the word about Doritos Silents to all your friends!
This juicy tidbit from the website is perhaps the best part of this development: “Crunch Cancellation is powered by artificial intelligence that has been trained by over 5,000 Doritos crunches, so no crunch will go undetected.” It’s often comical to think about how companies go about gathering the data to train AI, and this one is no different. Where did they get the recordings of these 5,000 sounds? Did the employees have to crunch the noises themselves? Was there just a room full of people eating Doritos into a microphone somewhere out there while we all went about our normal lives? How many bags of Doritos did they go through? Somewhere out there sits a file of the most irritating crunches around, but it’s all for a good cause.
"Working with Doritos to create this cutting-edge technology has been an incredible journey," said Dylan Fashbaugh, the lead developer at Smooth Technology.
The idea may seem gimmicky, but it covers a real gap in the capabilities in noise cancellation technology. Doritos has put their money where their mouth is when it comes to delivering on a quirky marketing push, and it's refreshing to see an effective product come out of the campaign. The technology is only available for Windows PCs and it is said that it will filter out crunch noises from a variety of snacks, not just Doritos. If you’re focusing more on your health, don’t worry, it could even catch the crunches from healthier snacks like carrots or snap peas. You’ll have to fill out a form with some information before you’ll be able to download the technology, but it is free.