Meet ‘Chippy’, the bold new face of comedy hoping to inspire young Aussies to take action on mental health

12 May 2023

9 May 2023, Australia: As a continuation of its partnership with youth mental health organisation ReachOut, Doritos has introduced Chippy, a comedian with a point of difference (or three) in a new brand film and accompanying campaign created by VaynerMedia to encourage Gen Z’s to take action on their mental health.

Chippy is an up-and-coming young comedian with a Doritos chip for a head who’s navigating the ups and downs of modern life – from dating to identity to self-worth. 

The film drops the audience into the middle of one of Chippy’s stand-up sets, right at the moment where the flavoursome comedian feels bold enough to open up and be vulnerable in front of a live audience. Chippy goes on to share a series of comical anecdotes that illustrate the positive effects of using the ReachOut platform to help him cope with different life situations and the mental health challenges he’s faced with.

Subverting the trope of the oversharing TikTok comic that populates Gen Z FYPs, Doritos believes Chippy’s bold look and relatable story can cut through to help spearhead a cultural shift from mental health awareness to action amongst young people in Australia.

“Doritos is all about being bold, and talking about mental health is one of the boldest things you can do,” said Vandita Pandey, CMO of PepsiCo ANZ. “There’s a significant gap between awareness and action when it comes to mental health and Gen Z, so we needed to do something different to cut through - and what better way than turning the iconic Doritos chip into such a distinct, fun and relatable character. Seeing Chippy share his story with the bold vulnerability that typifies stand up comedy is something we truly hope will inspire young people to be bold and reach out for their own mental health,” she added.

Shot as a real stand-up set in Sydney’s inner west, the film was developed using motion capture technology, to help bring Chippy to life. Care was taken to ensure the ‘chip head’ itself was constructed using only the real shapes, colours and textures of a Doritos chip, straddling the need for distinctive visual impact while allowing Chippy’s story to shine through. 

“Earning Gen Z’s attention and inspiring action when it comes to an issue as important as mental health is a challenging but incredibly inspiring brief. They’re a generation that speaks to mental health with a remarkable mix of openness, candour and humour, which naturally led us to the world of stand up comedy. Chippy’s disarming ability to navigate this world with originality and authenticity reflects the great collaborative partnership we’ve shared with Doritos and ReachOut in bringing this character and important message to life,” said Yash Murthy, Group Creative Director of VaynerMedia Australia.

“More than 1 in 3 young people in Australia are currently experiencing a mental health difficulty. And, more than 1 million of them are not accessing professional support. These stats demonstrate the fact that young people face a range of barriers when it comes to seeking help for mental health concerns, and one of those barriers is stigma. Having such a well-loved brand stand up for this important issue and engage with young people in a way that is non-intimidating and meaningful to them provides a huge opportunity to connect young people across the country with the mental health support they need,” said Tracey Campbell, Director of Marketing and Fundraising at ReachOut

The campaign hero film launches from today, with Chippy making appearances across social media, out-of-home advertising and as the face of a personalised interactive online portal to engage audiences in conversations and content surrounding their own mental health journey.

The campaign marks a second year of Doritos’ partnership with ReachOut, a key initiative that underpins Doritos’ aim to get 1 million Gen Zs to take action towards looking after their mental health by 2026.

ReachOut provides a safe, online place for young people to chat anonymously, get support, and feel better. Its resources for parents and schools also provide valuable information and advice to help them better support the young people in their lives.

Watch the launch film here, and find out more about the Doritos x ReachOut partnership here.