I suspect "viral marketing" at work here.

A cargo container that apparently fell from a ship washed up on the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Thursday and spilled thousands of bags of Doritos brand tortilla chips on the beach. People collected the chips, which were apparently still fresh due to their airtight packaging. It was unknown which ship had lost the cargo or to what port it was bound.


15 Responses:

  1. rzrxtion says:

    that just seems surreal

  2. simoncion says:

    Wow... If only I were there for that.
    /me LOVES Doritos brand tortilla chips!

  3. zonereyrie says:

    Damn, I never thought of that angle. That would be a masterful bit of marketing.

  4. saltdawg says:

    A loose container is the thing I fear most in this world. They lurk just below the surface, floating about three feet deep, and are constructed sturdy enough to tear a hole in the hull of a well-built steel ship. Just like mine.

    • gargargar says:

      The lawyer at a place I worked in the Bay Area during the dot-com nonsense told me about the wonders of the shipping container. First he tells me they're watertight, and that they can float if the load isn't too heavy. Hearing this, I nod in a "very clever" sort of reaction, which kind of irritated him.

      "When I was in shipping, we'd take turns shooting the damn things full of holes--if nothing else as a service to the next poor sap to take our route."

      Apparently it often took more than a few shots to sink the things. Lose shipping containers are the sailor's backhoe.

  5. killbox says:

    I bet it floated just fine.. neat!

    now if it only had a DHARMA Initiative generic black and white labels. i would then be sure it was a viral market thing..

  6. ahruman says:

    Ships sink more often than you think. As alluded to above, containers often do not sink. There's no particular reason to suspect viral marketing here.

    • prog says:

      There's still plenty of time for the Frito-Lay company to turn an accident into something.

      Pirates are still pretty hot right now. If their marketing folks can think on their feet they'll invent Ned the Nacho Nabber, self-styled scourge of the seas and carbohydrate-loving rapscallion, and start off his ad campaign by suggesting that he was behind this. Because he's actually a lovable bumbling pirate, you see, and accidentally lets the Doritos float away and so on.

  7. sherbooke says:

    In the era just before the internet, a floating whale mock-up broke loose in the English channel. For days afterwards, the radio-waves were full of sightings of "whale on the port bow" etc etc.

    For potential wreckers, you could try and come clean and claim salvage on the crisps. OTOH, eat fast afore the Excise men and red-coats come to getcha. Ah-aarr.

  8. robm42 says:

    Morning Edition, December 5, 2006 · A container ship carrying Doritos snack chips was caught in a storm and, to the delight of junk-food lovers, boxes of the chips ended up strewn on a North Carolina beach.

    In this story it is mentioned that the Coast Guard is still looking for 3 more containers, "only one of which contains food." It is not clear if Doritos fall into that category. [rimshot please]

  9. dopplertx says:

    Okay, so this was a container full of unboxed bags of Doritos. Right. Shouldn't there be some scraps of cardboard on the beach, or did they *all* just break apart and sink? And can we really believe an entire shipping container would only hold one brand of snack from a company that manufactures and markets multitudes of brands?

    • nelc says:

      I can't see cardboard lasting very long in the sea, especially the sea-state that would tear containers off the decks of ships.

  10. romulusnr says:

    yeah, the DHARMA logo on the end of the container gives it all away.