To introduce a new, amped-up version of Cool Ranch Doritos (which turns 34 years old this year), Frito-Lay has snagged the talent of another American legend: America’s favorite Cowboy, Sam Elliott.
In a teaser released Jan. 17 for Doritos’ Super Bowl 2020 ad “Monologue,” Elliott walks into a saloon in an Old West town, decked out in cowboy garb. As he approaches the bar, the bartender quickly pours him a whiskey and slides it across the bar, but Elliott doesn’t say anything about the drink. Instead, he starts in on a monologue from beneath his wide-brimmed hat.
In his classic Western drawl, Elliott tells the bartender: “I got my horses in the back. Horse tack is attached. Hat is matte black. I got the boots as black to match.”
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, those are lines from Lil Nas X’s TikTok sensation turned Billboard’s longest-ever chart topper Old Town Road. Elliott proceeds to recite an entire verse, finishing off by telling the bartender, “You can’t tell me nothin’.”
Since wrapping its decade-long “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign, Doritos has been leaning on star power for its Super Bowl spots. Last year, Doritos tapped award-winning musician Chance the Rapper for an ad that centered on its Flamin’ Hot Nacho flavor, and in 2018 Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman lip synced to Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott.
Frito-Lay is also running a spot for Cheetos in the Big Game, starring MC Hammer.
UPDATE: A second teaser, released today, brings us back to the same saloon—but this time, a mysterious bass line is making ripples in the whiskey. It’s Lil Nas X, of course, riding into town on a horse that’s also carrying his speakers.