A Crash the Super Bowl Bummer: Three of the five 2012 finalists were made by past winners

Wait...WTF?

Last night, just after midnight Doritos revealed the 5 finalists in the 2011/2012 installment of the Crash the Super Bowl contest.  And the results are simply disgusting….but not because the winning ads are terrible.  Actually, all 5 of Doritos’ picks are well made and kind of amusing.  No, the thing that’s filled me with disgust is WHO made the finals this year.  You see, THREE of the FIVE winning ads were made my people who wrote, directed or produced previous Crash the Super Bowl finalist spots.  But that’s not all…those three teams are actually all part of a single group of filmmakers from the LA area.  But that’s not all either!  One of this year’s winning commercials was directed by one 2011 Doritos finalist and produced by a different 2011 Doritos finalist; basically two of last year’s winners decided to join forces this year.  So long story short, these results tell us that if you want to win the Crash the Super Bowl contest all you have to do is win the Crash the Super Bowl contest and then enter again the next year.

For the record, the names of the entries that made the Top 5 this year are Sling Baby, Bird of Prey, Hot Wild Girls, Dog Park and Man’s Best Friend.  Now please bare with me while I attempt to break down the finalist family tree:

SLING BABY:  This spot was directed by a filmmaker named Kevin T. Willson.  Amazingly, Willson has now made the Crash the Super Bowl finals THREE YEARS IN A ROW now.  In 2010 he directed an ad entitled Casket and in 2011 he directed one entitled Birthday Wish.  Both entries made the Doritos finals and Casket aired during the Super Bowl.  According to the website, Vote4slingbaby.com, many crew members worked on all three of Willson’s ads. But I only learned about the overlapping crew thanks to google.  The Sling Baby site seems to go out of it’s way to avoid mentioning the fact that this team has won this contest twice before.  In fact, the “About Us” section states “Sling Baby is home-made by a group of good friends.”  Of course the website also lists the names of about 40 crew people including two ADs, a stunt coordinator and an entertainment attorney….not too shabby for a “homemade” commercial.  One more interesting fact; Sling Baby actually features the same child actor that starred in Birthday Wish.  I’m guessing all of Fritolay’s judges have working eyeballs so they must have realized there was probably a connection between the two spots. But if using the same child actor was too subtle, Sling Baby was submitted under the username “KevinTW.”  Even I realized that KevinTW had to be the guy who made Casket and Birthday Wish.  It was so obvious that it almost seemed like the director wanted the judges to know it was his spot.

BIRD OF PREY:  Kevin Willson’s Casket ad was apparently a very large production and an entire team of filmmakers from Los Angeles all worked on it together.  And it seems many of the cast and crew go to a “megachurch” in LA known as Mosaic. From what I’ve read it’s kind of famous for being popular with aspiring actors and filmmakers.  (The head of the church, pastor Erwin McManus was actually the “executive producer” of Casket.)  I guess Wilson’s success inspired his Casket teammates to try and win the Doritos contest themselves.  The result is Bird of Prey.  The spot was written and directed by one of the writers/crew members of Casket, Joby Harris.  After doing some googling it looks like several people who helped created Bird of Prey are part of the “Mosaic Church” team.   Most notably, the stunt coordinator did the stunts for Casket AND Sling Baby.  To top it off, Bird of Prey even features the same actor that starred in Casket, David Schultz.  In Casket he played the man in the titular Casket and in Bird of Prey he’s the guy who thinks he’s a bird.  Again, assuming that the Doritos judges have memories and eyeballs they had to have recognized the lead actor and known the spot had some kind of connection to CasketUPDATE: In a video posted on the CTSB site, the director of Bird of Prey explains that he was only able to make this ad because he recived a $10,000 gift from someone from his church.

DOG PARK:  Now here’s where things get really weird.  Dog Park was directed by a filmmaker from Utah named Tyler Dixon.  Dixon created the (very funny) ad The Best Part which made the Doritos finals last year.  (Remember, it was the one were a McLovin lookalike licked cheese off his co-worker’s fingers?)  But Dog Park was produced by a producer from LA named Heather Kasprzak.  Kasprzak is also part of the Mosaic church team and she produced Birthday Wish which Kevin Willson (Casket, Sling Baby) directed.  Technically, she was one of the five finalists last year since that ad was submitted under her name.  I’m guessing that Wilson didn’t enter Birthday Wish under his own name because he thought it might hurt his chances since he had already been to the finals.  But anyway…do you get what happened here?  The producer of Birthday Wish obviously met the director of The Best Part at the Super bowl last year.  At some point they decided to team up and now both of them get to go back to the Super Bowl for the 2nd year in a row.  That’s seriously kind of bogus.  And like Sling Baby, it seems like the director of Dog Park wanted the judges to know who made this ad.  It was submitted under the username “TylerDixon.”  (Though I’m kind of being a dick right now I do respect that these guys put their name on their ads.  If it was intentional there was a real chance the plan could have backfired.)

So it’s all a little too incestuous, isn’t it?  I’m disappointed that these three entries made the finals this year because it proves that the Crash the Super Bowl contest is totally and completely broken.  This year, Fritolay recived a whopping 6,100 entries.  That means the odds of making the final five are 1 in 1,220.  So, how in the world is it possible that 3 of the 5 teams of finalists all know each other, go to the same church in LA and  have won the contest before??  There are only three explanations:

1.  The wining teams just happen to be made of up of some of the greatest commercial writers/directors/actors in the country.

2.  The Hollywood Branch of Mosaic Church in LA has pleased God so much that he keeps bestowing his blessings (in the form of cash and trips to the Super Bowl) on its parishioners.

3.  Being a finalist in the Crash the Super Bowl contest one year gives a filmmaker a tremendous advantage the next year.

Obviously (and hopefully) the answer to this mystery is Explanation #3.  Over the years, there have been a number of people who have been able to make the Top 5 more than once.  Off the top of my head I can think of 4 times it’s happened and that’s not counting Kevin Wilson who will now be taking his third trip to the Super Bowl.  So WHY does being a finalist one year give you such a huge edge over the competition the next year?  Here are a few possible reasons:

1.  MONEY:  The biggest and most obvious factor is money.  That’s all there is to it.  Of the 6,100 entries Doritos received this year, I would guess that only about 60 submissions cost more than $1,000 to produce.  Real “Average Joes” can’t afford to gamble more than a few hundred dollars on their videos.  And really, I’m guessing most CTSB submissions cost under $50 to make. So if you spend enough money and if you use the right camera (Doritos loves ads that are shot with RED cameras) then you pretty much are automatically a serious contender for the Top 5.

But Sling Baby, Bird of Prey and Dog Park all must have cost a small fortune to produce.  All three seem to have been shot with the aforementioned RED cameras which cost well over $1,000 a day to rent.  (I bet all 3 ads were even shot with the same exact camera.)  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the three finalist ads in question probably each cost $3,000 to $6,000 to make.  Like I said, a broke-ass filmmaker in Des Moines can’t afford to spend that much cash on a “spec” commercial.  But you know who can?  Someone who won a $25,000 finalist prize in the previous installment of The Crash.  Former finalists have a huge advantage because they are able to invest their winnings into new entries.  It’s a hell of  a smart investment.  Former finalists understand that they will have an edge over the competition (for the reasons I’m listing now) in this particular contest.  Spending $5,000 of their prize money from last year is a no-brainer if it means that they might have a shot at winning a million bucks this year.  These people are not the greatest commercial directors in the country.  It’s just that low budgets inhibit the creativity of a filmmaker.  There is no cheap way to make an ad like Sling Baby or Dog Park.  As I said, it took about 40 people to make Sling Baby.  The thing that separates the repeat winners from the Average Joes is cold, hard cash and the willingness to spend it.  If you picked a few contestants at random and gave them $5,000 to spend I bet you’d get at least a few commercials that were funnier and more clever than Sling Baby, Bird of Prey or Dog Park.

2.  INSIDE INFORMATION.  Former finalists understand the Crash the Super Bowl contest in a way that most contestants can’t imagine.  They basically get to spend several days partying with other winners and the contest judges at the Super Bowl.  It’s an amazing opportunity to pick the brains of professional ad executives and the people in charge of the contest.  Finalists get to see how the contest works from the inside.  I think the reason so many finalist enter this contest year after year is because they understand that Doritos needs to pick professional looking ads that will look good playing on an HD TV on Super Bowl sunday.  So finalists know that if they spend enough money they can maybe just BUY a spot in the finals.  It’s sad but true.  And 99% of the people who enter this contest don’t know that.  They just think that if they shoot a hilarious ad with their flip camera they have a fair and square shot of making the finals….but they don’t.

3.  SPECIAL ACCESS TO RESOURCES AND TALENT:  Once a filmmaker makes the CTSB finals they automatically earn a ton of street cred with other filmmakers.  If you made a commercial that aired during goddamn Super Bowl you better believe that a lot of doors are going to fly open the next time you need help on a big shoot.  Seriously, what actor or crew member wouldn’t want to work on the CTSB entry of a person who already won the CTSB contest?  And can anyone honestly say that the team that made Dog Park didn’t have an unfair advantage here?  Dog Park would never have been made if the producer and the director didn’t meet at the Super Bowl last year.  Is it really fair that winners are allowed to join forces, pool their winnings and form a super-team?

4.  PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE JUDGES:  As I mentioned, when you win the Crash the Super Bowl contest you basically get to spend a week at the Super Bowl with the people who run the contest.  You go to dinner with them every night, you go to big parties with them, hell, you get drunk in a skybox at the Super Bowl with them.  The reps from Fritolay and Goodby/Silverstein (The ad firm that manages the contest) get to know the finalists very well.  Is it really that hard to imagine that some judges might have a soft spot for some of the previous finalists?  This year, Kevin Wilson (to his credit) submitted Sling Baby under his own name.  So the judges knew who made that spot.  Wilson made the finals in 2010 and 2011 but he never never won one of the big USA Today Ad Meter bonuses.  Is it possible that his friends at Fritolay decided to give him one more shot at the gold medal?  We outsiders don’t know how close the contestants and the judges get.  Do they stay in touch?  Could a previous finalist e-mail someone at Fritolay and say “Hey buddy, I entered the contest again this year and I thought you’d get a kick out of my submissions!”

Whatever the explanation may be, it is now impossible to deny that past finalists have a massive and unfair advantage over the rest of the filmmakers in the competition.  It’s ridiculous that literally one small group of filmmakers from one church in LA get so much out of the contest and tens of thousands of filmmakers from the rest of the country get so little.  Actually, the people who are going to get screwed the hardest are the two 2012 finalists that made the Top 5 for the first time this year.  Because the makers of Sling Baby, Bird of Prey and Dog Park all know each other and go to the same church, they can conspire to make sure that one of the “Mosaic” entries gets enough votes to air during the big game.  At the very least, the past finalists already know how to run an online campaign to get votes.  Their friends already know “the drill” and they can use all the same resources that they developed last year.

So this is really a sad state of affairs.  Normally, we have one big rule here at VCN;  DON’T HATE THE PLAYER, HATE THE GAME.  You can scream all you want about how stupid the judges of a video contest are but you can’t blame a filmmaker for winning.  However in this case I think one 2012 finalist should have retired from competing with “amateurs” by now.  It seems borderline unethical to continue to enter every year when you have an unnatural and inappropriate advantage.  Just because you can win doesn’t mean you should try.  At some point you should step aside and let others get a crack at what is billed as a “once in a lifetime” opportunity.  One of the big points of this contest its that it is supposed to help launch a filmmaker’s career.  It was never meant to BE a filmmaker’s carer.

But for the most part, the blame here falls on the shoulders of the judges at Fritolay and the consultants at Goodby, Silversein and Partners.  There were plenty of entries that were just as good or better than Sling Baby, Dog Park and Bird of Prey.  Why not spread the wealth around a little?  Picking the 3 ads that were made by people the judges know casts a disturbing pall over the whole contest.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say The Crash was somehow rigged but you gotta admit, this is some seriously fishy business.  Insiders have a much, much, much better chance of winning than outsiders do and that just comes off as kind of suspicious. I did mention that the odds of making the finals this year were 1 in 1,220, right?

In my last post I said I would review all 5 finalist ads as soon as they were posted.  But this stuff with the repeat finalists caught me off guard.  The two videos that were made by first time finalists are actually the best in the bunch.  (watch them here)  But they also look “homemade” (which I prefer) when compared to a super shiny and expensive ad like Dog Park.  Oh yeah…I forgot about the dogs.  Turns out if you didn’t put a dog or a baby in your entry you had no chance of winning this year.  I’ll do reviews of each winning ad in a few days.  Plus I’ll also announce which ad I personally will be voting for.  In the mean time, please feel free to share your own opinions in the comment section.

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UPDATE:  This article seems to have gotten a lot of attention and it looks like we might set a one-day traffic record today.  A lot of people have been leaving comments and I really appreciate everything everyone has been saying.  It’s nice to know that I’m not crazy and that other people agree that something is wrong if the same exact people win this contest year after year.  But a few people are misinterpreting this point of this article so I want to make two clarifications:

CLARIFICATION #1:  I am absolutely, positively 100% NOT saying that professionals should be prohibited from entering the Crash the Super Bowl contest.  That would be insane.  I am also not saying Doritos shouldn’t pick commercials that look professional.  All 5 winning ads will eventually air on TV so they MUST be TV quality.  And I in no way feel that t is unfair for people spend a lot of money on their entries.  People who spend more money are taking a big gamble and I admire their dedication.  I have entered the CTSB contest 3 years in a row and one reason I get excited about The Crash is because every year I try and step up my game.  The first HD contest entry I ever shot was for this contest and this year I think my submission was one of the most professional looking videos I’ve ever done.  I personally feel that I am a much better, stronger and more professional filmmaker because every year I challenge myself by entering the Crash the Super Bowl contest.

So my beef is not with the pros who enter this contest.  My beef is with THE SYSTEM that allows the same handful of friends from Southern California to win this contest year after year after year.  Former finalist simply have some kind of advantage,  Think of it this way; For 28 years, from 1980 until 2008 America had either someone named “Bush” or “Clinton” serving in the white  house.  If Hillary Clinton had won the presidency 4 years ago, the order of the presidents for the last 24 years would have been Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton.  So ask yourself this question:  Are the Bushes and the Clinton’s the greatest politicians of the modern era?  Or is it more likely that being an incumbent (or being related to a former president) gives one a serious advantage in presidential politics?  What I’m saying is that “politics” may be part of Fritolay’s decision process and that gives former finalists a major leg up on the competition.

CLARIFICATION #2:  No where in this article have I said that I think that past winners of the Crash the Super Bowl contest should be prohibited from entering again.  That would be very difficult to police since people can just enter under a friends name.  But there is no question that Doritos needs to fix this contest so that it more open to the rest of the public. Maybe fritolay should just ASK finalists to take a year off after they make the Top 5.  It would be like an honor-system thing.  But I should note that one former winner of the CTSB contest actually left a comment to this post and implied that he and his family are no longer eligible to enter this contest….probably because he already won the top prize of one million dollars. So apparently, Fritolay has no problem with forcing some contestants to “retire” after winning.

UPDATE #2: Actually, I’m not going to review all 5 winning ads this year. Readers have really been leaving some insightful comments and I want to explore some of the issues they have been bring up. So watch for new posts about the CTSB contest next week.

96 thoughts on “A Crash the Super Bowl Bummer: Three of the five 2012 finalists were made by past winners

  1. It kind of sucks if this dirty politics thing is real. I worked hard with my friends to pull off the one we did, whether people like it or not I feel like we should at least have a fair chance. I feel like they didn’t even watch all of them to be honest. There were some really awesome ones from other people. I liked Bird of Prey to be honest but the other ones were o.k. a few of the ones mentioned above definitely deserve to be in the top five totally. We had no budget to do ours, just friends helping each other out.

    Feel free to see ours if you get bored. It’s titled “The Blessed Origin of Doritos”. I’m the one in a gold leotard haha. I had to learn how to ride a horse two hours before we shot the scene 🙂 From Omaha, Nebraska with love….

    http://www.crashthesuperbowl.com/#/gallery/?video=16921

  2. Oh my God…51 comments in 24 hours? Oh boy. I’m sorry folks but I’m going to have to declare COMMENT BANKRUPTCY! I meant to reply to a lot of you but at this point it would just take me forever.

    So let me just say that I REALLY appreciate everyone who has added something to this conversation. And I especially appreciate the comments from former CTSB finalists and the comments from crew people who worked some of the ads that made the Top 5 this year. Anyone who has something to say (and who says it in at least a semi-civil way) are always welcome to post responses here. Hell….I even approved almost all of the ugly comments that were posted by d-bags who just want to start trouble.

    I’m going to wait another day or two before I do a fresh post. So feel free to continue to use this space to discuss Doritos’ picks. Hopefully I’ll be able to get more involved.

    And as always, if you need to send me a direct message you can e-mail me at videocontestnews@gmail.com

  3. I like how Kevin T. Wilson says on the sling baby website that it would be his dream come true if the commercial airs on the Super Bowl. Yeah like his dream come true for the third time.

    Come on the production had 40 people including things like a studio teacher (whats that?) a stunt cordinator, entertainment attorney etc. This looks like a real amatuer production which he tries to make it out to be on the site. ri·dic·u·lous!

    Ok you made a decent at best spot but don’t try fooling people that your just some little hobby team doing this for fun and its your dream to make the SB when you already have 3 times.

  4. Beardy, I completely agree with everything you said about the contest. Thanks for filling us in on the gorey details so we are given a chance to know the TRUTH of the matter. Like you, I will continue to enter the contest to challenge and improve myself, but I will be entering other contests as well where my talent and vision have a better chance of being recognized (and hopefully awarded!). Until next time, take care and have fun!

  5. I was enjoying the comment back and forth until I read Pillow Pants. I used to go to Mosaic and know most of the people involved with this topic. I think a few things should be clarified:

    – There is no better center of gravity for filmmaking talent than LA, so the Southern California argument is not a valid one
    – Mosaic places an enormous emphasis on creativity as a church, and therefore attracts a very high percentage of creative people. I tell people that a service is like a free ticket to a top Broadway show, but you get to choose your seat by going earlier. It is outstanding for content and quality. Probably the best you can find on the planet. It is unique and unique things come of there…no surprise.
    – I know the people who’s names have been thrown around, and they are to a person great people who I’m glad I know. Some of the best people I’ve ever met, in fact.
    – It is competitive between them more than collaborative. When I saw multiple people I know had videos out this year (and non-Mosaic people who weren’t selected but did a great job, like “His Wedding”), it was tough to know I’d have to pick one or stay out of it.

    I read a great deal of sour grapes in this article. I firmly believe that if I lived in Idaho but could call on a great, talented, strongly connected community of filmmaking people and that gave me an advantage, I’d do it. But there isn’t a great, talented, strongly connected community of filmmakers in Idaho.

    I believe anyone with talent and support can do this. It just so happens the Mosaic gang has outstanding talent and uniquely strong support. Let it go and try again next year if you like.

  6. Dan,

    read your post today…..AWESOME INVESTIGATIVE WORK DUDE!

    HOLY FUCK is all I can say……. I wish all 6100 entries had access to this info and would fucking CALL the Doritos motherfuckers (excuse my French….. I actually am originally from Montreal) on this bullshit…… I know Red is in but really?????…..you are right…. how many people can afford one ( I think a nice mid size car is in the same price range)…. let alone rent one? I know a whole gang of people at LA Film School who have access to great equipment and resources who entered and couldn’t even pull this off….. not to mention the film students at USC with VAST fucking resources (I really do mean VAST as in FUCKING VAST) who couldn’t do the same thing.

    Thank you for your post and detective work. you ROCK……..

    what a bullshit contest for “Amateurs”…….

    I see an Occupy Doritos Movement in the future …. what is 99% of 6100???? (yes it is a rhetorical question)

    best to you and

    Bless up in 2012 and beyond.

  7. Chris meant “His Big Day” above not “His Wedding” not that it matters at this point but… we are also in LA and used the same editor as the Sling Baby spot, “Hybrid Edit” here in LA and have no affiliation with Mosaic. It’s LA, the industry is here, there is an advantage as a result and we all utilize the community.

    I think our spot is as good a quality and execution as any of the finalists. We shot on 7D, but you know what, our spot isn’t as unique as the finalist’s. They all based their spots on ad meter research, we did not. So quality is key but more so, content, and if it appeals to Frito Lay then they will make finalist.

    So…we try again next year.

  8. Beardy,

    By the way… please PROMISE us that you won’t join Mosaic church now knowing what you know. We NEED you on the outside….. let the ones on the “inside” stay mired down in their own myopia….. and as we all know the Myopic vision is never balanced nor CLEAR. In fact I’m confident should one spend enough time in said environment the condition becomes known as DEGENERATIVE MYOPIA.

  9. Linking a video that Snickers had me shoot in 2010 on a micro budget. Look familiar?

    http://youtu.be/AKWV_WS8EH8

    As for the insiders always winning. I’ve dealt with these companies, advertisers, ad agencies and contest many, many times in the past. My group of friends and I broke through on one, and then we ended up being finalist in every contest we entered with the same company for the next two years. Now the dog park commercial up there sucks because we had no time, were burned out by then and just didn’t have time or the interest to do it well. That is my fault. But the key in these contest is to get in good with the people who put it on. We did that. Six finalist selections later, we were finally done with it and moved on. We kept meaning to enter the Doritos contest and after seeing these crappy ads (whom I have friends who were actually involved with a few) I will be submitting next year. So yes there is a sense of favoritism and it helps to be on the inside. That is America. It’s not changing.

    Quick Tips:
    Yes, you need to use professional cameras. Doesn’t have to be the RED. A 5D will do it now if you have good lighting, lenses and filters. The RED looks nice, but is so annoying to work with and as you noted, not cheap.

    A key is editing and acting. Two things that are hard to do without resources. And by editing I mean sound, color correction, all of it.

    Good luck to everyone. Keep shooting.

  10. You people sticking up for Mosaic have your heads up your asses. You are missing the point. I AM FROM LA and I know tons of actors and tech people and I don’t know anyone from Mosaic church. Yeah LA is an industry town FULL OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE. What’s shady here is one little, tiny gaggle of friends from one little tiny church keep winning this contest. I personally entered this contest this year and I spent about $1,400. And I think my submission was pretty damn good. My friends all thought it was amazing. And I had a ton of pros working FOR FREE on my entry. \

    So if this was just about “LA VS. THE REST OF THE COUNTRY” there would be more guys like me winning. RIGHT?? So yeah, LA is FILLED WITH TALENTED PEOPLE. But it makes zero damn sense that one talented group can win 3 of 5 slots in one year.

    Thanks for posting this info beardy. I tried to keep the profanity to a minimum.

  11. Misterpaws said they made that for almost nothing. Yes you can do that but must be highly skilled in after effects and editing. I would like to see a breakdown on how they made this amazing commercial. Like I said before it’s the best CTSB entry ever. How the hell did you do that plane!!!

  12. i just read the crash the superbowl rules again. it doesn’t say in there anywhere that you cant win 3 years in a row. and it doesn’t say you cant enter if you are a professional. i also didn’t see anything about how much money your allowed to spend on it.

  13. David,

    I just read my post again. It doesn’t say in there anywhere that I said any of that stuff was against the rules. My post does say that people should spend as much money as they want and it also says that pros should absolutely be allowed to enter.

    Hundreds of professionals entered this contest and lots of people spent tons of cash on their ads. I thought the point of my article was pretty easy to grasp: For some reason, past finalist seem to have an advantage over the “outsiders” who enter the crash. It’s not about pros vs. non-pros. It’s about Insiders vs. outsiders. If someone isn’t able to understand what I was trying to say I suspect it’s because they don’t WANT to understand.

  14. Believe me, being a finalist is not the same thing as winning! I have been a finalist at least a dozen times over the past 6 years, but when the contest is all over its still a loss. no prize. no nothing.

  15. Your article just came across as “hey! not fair, only past finalist have a shot at winning this!” and “I cant afford to spend $5k on an ad”, and “I want a Red camera!” Whaa, whaa, whaa” 🙁
    I’m sure thats how it came across to most readers. regardless of your intentions.

  16. Let me lay this down on how I see what is going on here.

    I bet people are wondering, why doesn’t Doritos simply hire the filmmakers who keep making the finals to produce a commercial for them outside of the contest?

    The reason is quite simple, because they would need to pay them a lot more than 25K to get that done. They would need to pay for the idea phase, production costs, filmmaker and crew costs, location fees, sound mixing, color correction, etc. Instead they have a “contest” where they not only get their favorites to produce ads for them, but new filmmakers also rise to the top and get into the circulation for next year. Relationships are formed once you win, there is no way around it. The only way around this is to state in the rules that if you make it to the finals, you are ineligible for the next year but then are eligible again the year after.

  17. David Rorie,

    No where in this article do I hear the lachrymose ululations of Beardy that you suggest his article puts forth. For those of us who are not majestically hebetudinous the article is actually food for thought and hence thought for food. I’ll go with the Foucauldian paradigm on this one. Quite simply the relationship between POWER and KNOWLEDGE and how truth, morality and meaning are presented in the aforementioned article and how its discourse is quite simply INFORMATION.

  18. http://vimeo.com/21474155
    That’s a link to Kevin T Willson’s Vimeo page – all his Doritos spots as well as some others and a “behind the scenes”. As you can see there, this is no “amateur” production (at least not the layman’s definition of amateur), but more power to them if they can get that crew together to produce work – that may or may not garner financial compensation. Lucky for them and lucky for Doritos they have those resources. We all do what we can to create the best work we can and the folks at Mosaic are no different.

  19. Main article sounds like whining and complaining. Have you WATCHED the other entries. They range between campy (and poorly filmed) to “how in the world does that relate to anyone but you?!” If someone else wants to win, yes resources are beneficial), the primary objective is that their idea be somewhat decent. If someone else can’t come up with a better idea…then more power to the winners (even if they’ve won several times). Upon further investigation, you can also find that the team that’s part of the “megachurch” opened their production to people far beyond your pool of those you deemed “incestuous.” If you want to be in a winning commercial badly enough…go be a part of their production. Otherwise, get on with life and understand that there are bigger, more meaningful battles to fight than who won a Super Bowl commercial contest. Seriously.

    ————-

    BEARDY’S NOTE: We have a strict policy here that people must use their real names when they leave a comment. This comment was posted by someone using the name “Andrew Fillingim.” It was actually posted by a “Christian Comedian” named Kenn Kington. I think it’s safe to assume he has ties to the Mosiac Megachurch. Please people….you can tell me I’m whining all you want but be don’t lie and hide behind a fake name. Seriously.

  20. Hey guys! Heather Kasprzak here!

    If you want to know the real story just ask! I’m sure any one of us would love to share how we all know each other and what the crash contest means to us!

    Tyler Dixon, my boyfriend, who I met last year at the super bowl and my friend Kevin Willson are 2 of the most talented, funny, kind human beings I know!

  21. Sent this link to FNC challenged them to look at by saying “no way NBC/Universal would follow up since they’re broadcasting the Super Bowl. Also curious if they would take the chance of losing the Frito Lay ad $$’s

  22. JB says:
    Oh I forgot the guy that did the VFX on Sling Baby worked on the Matrix movies and The Incredible Hulk to name just a few. Here is his IMDB http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1721001/
    —————————————————————————————

    Wow! That guy is awesome!

  23. Hi VCN,
    I was shock that DORITOS left out ” MY FRIEND ARCHIE ” Some of the top 5 finalists should be left out and replace ” MY FRIEND ARCHIE ” is a super good ad for the super SB this year, is too bad for DORITOS here. We are in the new world here, what was wrong to the DORITOS ? Why they keep selecting the old formula over and over again. Is either dogs, babies or dogs in their commercial. THAT IS BORING. I believe that if ” MY FRIEND ARCHIE ” got selected this year it will surprise everyone at the SB this year.I remember that ” MY FRIEND ARCHIE ” was in your top 10 and top 5 list.

  24. I watched the most viewed videos in Crash this year and there was a bunch, such as; “Good Doggie” funny and well shot with a great dog performance, “Zulu 9er,” high quality with a baby and some great CG, and “My friend Archie” with amazing CG and a robot, COME ON just those three alone were worth picking. (But they were all from New Crews) or a different church or something.

    With only 5 spots available, to see the judges default to past entrants work, again and again shows that at the least, they just got lazy. I do not think they even looked at 6100 videos in a few weeks, it’s too overwhelming, and you become numb. The judges also started late with the contest and I do not think they left themselves enough time to do it right or be fair with all of the holidays and time off. Seems like they just defaulted to people they already knew.

    Great article!!! (Don’t forget they also took a big part of their budget for the upcoming “lonely Island spot”, so they had to cut the top 10 to only 5 with no (Pepsi) and a bunch of other cuts.

  25. Lanceto,

    Thank you for posting the link to Kevin Wilson’s vimeo video. I noticed several recognizable actors and the camera equipment looks completely top of the line.

    Does any one care to estimate the budget of one of wilson’s entries based on the fact that he uses professional equipment, actors and crew?

  26. Beardy,

    These hate comments are so godam funny. This post doesn’t make sense. Correlation does not imply causation. You think BECAUSE Kevin W. and Tyler D. won that they must have been given advantage. Why? Well, because statistically there is no way he could win three years in a row, or no way Mosaic could possibly when this much?

    That’s a farce.

    Actually, there is a high probability the same concentrated group of winners would win again. They have won already, which proves they understand the brand, the content “must haves” (animals, babies, etc), and, most importantly, have displayed the ability to create a superbowl ready spot. 99.9% of the 6000 entries do not have even the slightest grasp of these three factors. Thus, the “possible winner” pool is actually about 10 people.

    Instead of spending time hating, you should spend your time trying to break down why they won FAIRLY. It’s easy to fall back on the cheat argument…it’s easy to say “we got ripped off.” Why? Because of the “L” Doritos slapped on your video. But, the truth is it is NOT because of the RED, NOT because of money (25k cut in half for tax, then distributed b/w crew…not much), and NOT because of special access to resources and talent. That’s absurdity.

    You don’t know how to type http://www.lacasting.com into your browser?

    The Visual FX guy “who worked on the matrix, etc” was basically an FX PA on those jobs…do you know what “assistant” means. It means you are low guy on the totem pole. It doesn’t mean he can composite something that you can’t. Come on. Bitter sandwich, people.

    The reality is that people who don’t win always hate; it placates the emptiness they have inside, the hurt they feel for losing. The more irrational the argument, such as this one, the more they’re hurt. Thus, I’m sorry you’re hurt Beardy. (I’m serious). But whiny posts like this just underscore the all too apparent truth: the same group of people won because they are better than all those who lost.

    But lets call a spade a spade. So to all those haters who think they got ripped off, I’m hear to tell you just weren’t good enough. You have the chance to be good enough–albeit a small one because of your pride and lack of constructive response to loss—but don’t hide behind some illogical, nonsensical “we’re victim” bullshit.

    You got two choices, bitch with the losers or make a good enough video to make it. Most of you won’t hear this point but that’s okay, the small .01% that do may actually be in the running next year. Otherwise, keep drinkin’ your hater-aid.

    _bh

  27. Brendan,

    I’m really kind of shocked by your comment. I understand some of your points and I ALWAYS say that the best videos should win a contest. But there were lots of entries this year that were as good or better than some of the ads that made the top 5 this year. So for you to just tell everyone that they weren’t good enough is really unfair.

    And I’m sorry to say something like this but I think you yourself might be a good example of how being a finalist one year helps a person the next. And I think that may by why you left your comment. If I’m right then I am diminishing your accomplishments. Almost zero people reading these comments will realize your history. So to recap: In 2009 you made the 2010 finals of the CTSB contest with your entry, The Smackout:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDs84fRXvTs

    It looks like it was shot with a DSLR and I’m guessing the budget was a few hundred dollars. You went to the Super Bowl and that year, doritos aired a bunch of CTSB ads. Only 2 finalist commercials didn’t air that night. One was “Kids These Days” which was made by the exact same team of guys that made the finalist ad “Underdog.” (underdog aired that night and won $400K I think) The other ad that didn’t air that night was yours.

    From talking to other 2009/2010 finalists I’ve heard that you took that very hard. You were the only member of the group that didn’t get to see his commercial play during the super bowl. Again, from what I’ve heard, the other finalists as well as the people in charge of the contest spent the rest of the night giving you pep talks and trying to cheer you up. And one of the big shots in charge even took you aside to tell you that he knew that some day you’d win the contest again. If this story is true, it sounds like the judges were rooting for you to win again the next year as soon as the 2010 Super Bowl was over.

    The next year, you did enter again (in the pepsi max category) with an ad called “Torpedo Cooler”

    http://youtu.be/Bg5bWrGr0FI

    But this time (I THINK) you used a RED camera. And according to the press release I saw, you spent about $8,000 on your budget. I think that makes Torpedo Cooler the most expensive CTSB finalist ever. Ultimately, Torpedo Cooler did make the finals and it did air during the game.

    So, here are my questions for you:

    1. If money doesn’t matter and RED cameras don’t matter, why did you spend so much last year and use a RED on your 2nd video?

    2. If you had not made the finals in 2010, can you honestly say you would have made the finals in 2011? (I understand that it was a different set of judges but I’m pretty sure that the people at Goodby/Silverstein oversaw both contests last year.) And of course my theory is that the money you won allowed you to shoot an expensive ad or maybe you picked up some juicy inside info.

    3. Would you really have spend $8K on your pepsi max video if you hadn’t won the year before?

    4. During your 2nd trip to the Superbowl, did anyone from Doritos or Goodby/Silverstein say anything to make you believe that they were happy that you won again or that they were excited that you were basically getting a second chance?

    I hope you don’t think I’m trying to be a jerk with these questions. Your comment was kind of harsh and I think it’s fair only fair that people know where you’re coming from.

  28. I’m just curious why you didn’t post my comments about the delayed uploading and posting this year. As I mentioned, some submission did not get posted for almost a month – with the explanation being that there was a problem uploading and “can you please re-send”. (I’m quoting the moderator here)

    This brings up the question of whether these late postings made the judging process in a timely fashion. With over 6000 entries – the judging must have begun weeks before these delayed entries were posted.

    And with the number of complaints posted in the CTSB Forum that contestant’s emails were not being answered by the moderator – for weeks – one wonders if there was any other behind-the-scenes issue that might have effected the outcome. Their silence did begin to seem a little suspicious.

    RJ

  29. RJ,

    I’m not sure why your other comment wasn’t approved. Your latest comment was approved automatically which means you have already been approved to leave comments. I think your other comment probably was approved at some point.

    As for upload issues, I think that if doritos approved a video it got judged. They have nothing to gain from not watching the late videos.

  30. Hey Beardy,

    No offense taken. I look at the whole thing objectively. Re: your last sentence:

    “Your comment was kind of harsh…”

    Harsh, but true. It’s not surprising that you take rumor as fact; frankly, I would expect it from the argument/points made in your article. Your analyses are, as are your posts, speculation…poorly informed speculation at that.

    My argument is not a personal attack…it is an attack on your method. You don’t follow statistics…or dry facts…you rely on conjecture. Lets stick to facts here for a second: yes, I was a finalist in 2010. Yes, I lost. I re-attacked in 2011 and, this time, aired, though not placing high in the Ad Meter. I stuck to a formula—something I studied like a SCIENCE—and made it far (and, FYI, spent 4k on the Pepsi spot).

    In the reply you just wrote, you say it’s because of Goodby Silverstein, who were judges. In your other post you say: “the Pepsi Max “Crash” was pretty much a totally different contest run by a different company and a different set of judges.” Which is it, Beardy? Try not to tailor your facts to your opinion. Tailor your opinion to your facts.

    Have you noticed neither Kevin nor Tyler respond to you or explain their thoughts? If you want to be a source of respect on both sides of the fence—those who are in the finals and those who aren’t—then you should support your opinion with, if not facts, a modicum of merit. Are you still claiming that Kevin and the Mosaic crew stole your casket idea? Are you still planning to sue them? Perhaps that is the origin of your dislike.

    Whatever the case may be, I realize you will likely not hear what I am saying, you’ll get defensive about it and still feel you were wronged. Well I’m here to tell you and everyone who didn’t make it: THEY DIDN’T DESERVE TO MAKE IT.

    Take it as motivation or take it emotionally.

    Good luck to all 2012 finalists!

    Until the hating next year,

    bh

  31. Brendan,

    You didn’t answer my questions….which I think is all the answer I need. But I’d like to give you a 2nd chance to answer the questions I posed in my last comment. Will you answer them? I think that if you can honestly say that you would have made the 2011 finals even if you didn’t make the 2010 finals then that would cause me to seriously re-think my theories. Brendan, you left a comment to tell me I was wrong….if you really want to convince me, just answer those simple questions I sent.

    Now just for the record, you are saying that the “rumor” about the judges and other contestants consoling you ad saying that they thought you’d make the finals again is NOT true? So the former finalist who told me that story lied to me?

    As you point out, “torpedo cooler” did not do well on the ad meter. In fact I think it was the lowest scoring CTSB ad ever. So if you had shot that spot for $400 instead of 4,000 do you think you would have made it? (you can consider that a rhetorical question.)

    I NEVER have said Goddby/silverstein were the judges. I know that a team from doritos and a team from pepsi max pick their finalists but. But I’ve read that the ad execs at G/S help them make their picks.

    Kevin willson seems like a very nice guy and I have no beef with him. I don’t think the whole Mosaic team stole the idea for “Casket” from me. But…I do believe that one member of their team (the writer) did get the idea from an “animated storyboard” that I posted to youtube. The storyboard was for my doritos entry that year which was about a guy who fakes his death so he can get his last wish of being buried (alive) in a casket full of Doritos. A few days after I uploaded my storyboard video, the mosaic team met and pitched ideas to each other. One guy pitched the casket idea and the rest of the team voted to shoot it. My theory has always been that this one guy went to youtube to do some research before the pitch meeting. He saw my video since it would have been one of the very first most recent results. I assume he realizd it would be a perfect idea for his team to shoot since they could film inside of a mosaic church. And that guy I’m talking about actually e-mailed me after the super bowl. He really, really wanted to meet in person so we could talk. I’m not in LA so we couldn’t. Though he never admitted anything he did say things via e-mail that convinced me my theory was right. I don’t think Kevin Willson or anyone else on the team knew about what (probably) happened until AFTER the video was shot and after they made the finals.

    Heather K. who produced Birthday Wish with Kevin willson last year and Dog Park with Tyler Dixon is doing an interview for VCN about all this and it will run in later this week. So hopefully that will make my coverage more fair and balanced in your eyes.

    Oh…I think you’re saying that I’m mad that I personally did not make the finals. I swear on a stack of bibles that I am not mad that I didn’t win and I would have been shocked if I did make it. I like my entry but I kind of shot it for fun and for the experience. The subject matter was way too “nerdy” for the general public. So I totally do not think that I got “robbed.” Seriously, I swear that’s not what this is about. My opinions would be the same even if I didn’t enter this year.

    Again, if you were to answer those questions it would really help clear up a few things and maybe change some minds.

  32. WOW!

    The arrogance of Brendan……”Those who didn’t make it didn’t deserve to make it.”
    Evidently he didn’t view too many ads.

    “Take it as motivation or take it emotionally”
    I’m sorry to tell you that those two things are MUTUALLY INCLUSIVE. One cannot exist without the other.
    That basic lack of knowledge not only points to his substratal lack of humanity and grace but his lack of being able to understand correlation and causation. Must be a RED state of mind.

  33. Beardy, if you want to convince people that your theories are correct all you have to do is take brendon’s comment and post the whole thing, unedited in a post. Don’t let him hide his ugly words here in the comment.s post them so everyone can see them.

  34. I cannot belive what I just read. I think Mr. Brendon Hayword should be ashamed of himself. This just goes to show you how arrogant these people are. Some people think they deserve everything in the world and no one else does because everyone else sucks. Excuse my laungage but fuck that asshole.

    He says money and cameras aren’t important. Then to make sure he makes the finals again he spends a fortune and uses the exact camera he said doesn’t matter.

    That makes him a hypocrite. If he had never won I bet he would be on here creaming louder than anyone about the fairness of this contest.

  35. I have an idea for the people that lost this year.
    next year try this.

    1. Rent a Red camera
    2. Hire a Professional crew
    3. Spend at least $5000 on it.
    4. Win $1million dollars !

    If thats really all it takes, go for it. Your sure to win right?

  36. I understand your disappointment beardy. But let’s make sure it’s aimed at the right target. We cannot blame people like Brendan and the finalists of this years contest for playing the game. We must hate the game not the player and if we want to play this game then we have to learn the rules. This years group of finalist was probably the blandest and most generic, save the ad that spoofed the siri and even that one had dogs and chicks with big boobs. They were amusing but not funny. They were not my favorites (the one where the chick feeds the ducks and paint fight). Let’s not forget we are pitching creative ideas to people who will at the end of the day feed them to a machine to see what numbers they crunch out. They have their marketing statistics that define what best will sell Doritos and we wont persuade these arrogant ivy league non creative types otherwise. Apparently it’s babies, dogs, and a kick in the balls (apparently its not a tag line). And I am sure they are right. That’s probably what most of America likes. That and broad over the top humor. Hey, we all went and watched that second hang over movie or we will. Maybe That’s why smack out by Brendan was able to make it to the finals. Subtle and clever does not sell Doritos. But we can’t blame Brendan. And I don’t see the point in inventing conspiracy theories. I very much doubt the filmmakrs of past have found Doritos soft spot. Doritos is just interested in one thing. Selling Doritos. It’s very possible they gave them tips or maybe even nurtured them a little which would be terribly wrong, but at the end of the day Doritos wants the “best” commercial. And I do not believe money is the only factor. You had a Doritos commercial that was in your top 25 that looked the most expensive. The one with Elvis at the end. It did not make it. Maybe because it was missing the three key ingredients I mentioned above. But how much money did they waste. Wow. I am going to try this contest one more time but I sense that I will make something I won’t be completely proud of in order to win.

  37. Bobby, thanks for the comment. I think you’ve done a good job of articulatig how I feel about this. Based on teh comments people have been leaving, I think that some people are reading mt article and then reading all these comments and they think that the comments other people leave reflect my opinion.

    To everybody, I don’t think the contest was “rigged.” And I don’t think that all you need is a RED camera to win. You do need a nice looking ad but you also need it ot be funny. So you need TALENT and MONEY. As bobby just said, this is a weak batch of finalists. I almost think that maybe doritos decided to “play it safe” and pick a filmmaker or two IN PART because they were “proven commodities.” There were a lot of crazy and funny ads and it feels like doritos really shot for the middle for some reason.

    Bottom line: I think that being a finalist one year gives you an advantage the next year. Maybe it’s the money, maybe it’s the connections, maybe it’s inside info. But there are thousands of talented filmmakers out there and a lot of people “get” what it takes to win this contest. Does doritos want the best commercials? Of course they do….but some of the 2012 CTSB ads aren’t too great. There were plenty of other “best” ads they could have picked. But instead the judges went with the people that they knew. Maybe it was a total coincidence and maybe the folks at doritos had no idea who made which ads but that seems unlikely to me.

  38. Dear Beardy,
    Thank you for the amazing article!!!
    I wrote, produced(Tiny Giant Films), and gathered all my friends and family members for my Crash the Super Bowl submission “High Tea”.
    http://www.crashthesuperbowl.com/#/gallery/?video=13539
    It’s my first project ever and my first video entry ever. I DID NOT use a Red Camera-too expensive, I DID NOT use a Dog or Baby(who knew) but I did spend over $1000. Just about everyone worked for free but the cost went up because I wanted to take care of my friends & feed them well on the day of filming. I wanted to let them know much I appreciated them taking time out of their schedules to help me out. I did my own stunts (taking a punch to the face)from my girlfriend so I wouldn’t stress over someone else getting injured. I had a fantastic time making High Tea and everyone in the cast and crew has told me that they did too.
    In regards to the Top 5, I had seen Bird of Prey and Sling Baby and considered them competitive, But…there were at least a dozen other commercials I liked better.
    I come from the very competitive world of figure skating so I’m used to doing my best and letting the judges do their thing. Your article helps newbies like myself gain insight to the inner workings of the coveted Top 5.
    Thanks again for providing this forum. I’m sure I’ll see you around Hollywoodland in the future. B

  39. Hi there.–someone pointed me here.
    My spot “Bird of Prey” cost me every penny I had– $500. We shot it on my friends Cannon 7D. I love my LA Mega church. Take care!
    Joby

  40. Bird of prey is funny. That’s why it’s a finalist. If it was shot on a flip cam it would still be funny. 99% of the submissions or at least the majority I saw were not funny.

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