The countdown clock on doritos.com said that FritoLay would announce their top 5 Crash the Super Bowl finalists on Sunday, January 5th. But this afternoon the clock disappeared and the 2014 finalists were revealed. Just two days ago I tried to predict which semi-finalists would advance to the top 5 and man, I was way off. I only got one right (Finger Cleaner.) But I have to say, the CTSB judges did ok this year. I think these are 5 decent entries and they’re certainly some of the best of the semi-finalists. Here’s FritoLay’s official list of winners:
“Time Machine” by Ryan Andersen, Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
“Office Thief” by Chris Capel, Valencia, California, United States
“The Cowboy Kid” by Amber Gill, Ladera Ranch, California, United States
“Breakroom Ostrich” by Eric Haviv, Atlanta, Georgia, United States
“Finger Cleaner” by Thomas Noakes, Sydney, Australia
Of this group, Finger Cleaner is my favorite followed closely by Time Machine and Office Thief. Breakroom Ostrich makes me chuckle but I wish it had a stronger punchline. And while I personally dislike The Cowboy Kid (it’s trying a little too hard to be cutesy) I get that your mom and all her facebook friends are probably going to love that one.
I think what’s really interesting about today’s announcement are the ads that FritoLay DIDN’T chose for the Top 5. Not one of the misogynistic semi-finalists made the cut. So why did Doritos pick so many sexist ads for the Top 24? My theory is that the some marketing genius at FritoLay figured that commercials with a bunch of T&A would get a lot of viral views. So those entries probably never had a real shot at making the finals.
And you know who else got shut out this year? REPEAT FINALISTS. For the last five years it’s seemed like the same people were making the finals over and over and over. There was always at least one previous winner in the Top 5 and sometimes there were multiple repeat finalists. One director managed to win 4 trips to the Super Bowl and another director won 3. But for the first time since 2007, all of the winning filmmakers are first-timers.
1/3/14 UPDATE: Whoa wait a second! I got a tip from a reader today and it turns out I was not 100% correct when I said that repeat finalists were shut out this year. Technically, none of the 2014 finalists have made the Top 5 before. But COWBOY KID was definitely created by a team of filmmakers that has made the finals at least 4 times! I say “at least 4 times” because a few team members have broken off over the year’s and formed new teams that also got to the finals a few times. But the core group (led by director Kevin T. Willson) made the finals with Sling Baby in 2012, Birthday Wish in 2011 and Casket in 2010. I was shocked to hear that this team had entered the contest again since Sling Baby won a million dollar bonus in 2012. More on this story next week.
We’ll have to wait until Super Bowl Sunday to learn which 2 commercials actually won the contest. The ad that gets the most public votes this months will air during the big game and the director will receive a million dollar bonus. Then FritoLay’s judges will pick a 2nd commercial that will also air. But that one only gets $50,000. Then the other three finalists will each receive $25,000 for making the top 5. I think Finger Cleaner is a lock to win the million bucks. That entry went viral before it even made the semi-finals. It’s gotten over a million views on youtube so it’s gonna be hard to beat. I really thought it might be too gross/suggestive for TV but it wouldn’t have made the finals if the sponsors were concerned about getting it past the censors. I’d like to see Time Machine or Office Thief air too but FritoLay’s marketing team will probably pick the video that they know your mom will want to post on facebook after the game. That means The Cowboy Kid has a good shot at nabbing the 2nd slot.