How much does it cost to make the Crash the Super Bowl finals?

FritoLay has released the budgets for all five “amateur” commercials that made the 2014 Crash the Super Bowl finals.  As always, the ads that made the Top 5 had pretty hefty budgets.  This year the cheapest entry was Time Machine which cost $300 to produce.  Finger Cleaner was the most expensive submission and in fact, it’s the most expensive Crash the Super Bowl finalist EVER!  Why don’t you try and guess how much that video cost to produce and then scroll down to see the actual budget.  I’ll list all five 2014 finalists in order from least expensive to most expensive.

TIME MACHINE.  Budget: $300
Creator: Ryan Thomas Andersen.  Age: 28.  Current City: Scottsdale, AZ


OFFICE THIEF.  Budget: $1,500-2,000
Creator: Chris Capel.  Age: 33.  Current City: Valencia, CA


Breakroom Ostrich. Budget: $1,700
Creator: Eric Haviv. Age: 30. Current City: Atlanta, GA


COWBOY KID.  Budget: $5,000
Creator: Amber Gill.  Age: 34.  Current City: Ladera Ranch, CA


FINGER CLEANER.  Budget: $7,000 (U.S.)
Creator: Thomas Noakes.  Age: 27.  Current City: Sydney, Australia


As I’ve said before, Finger Cleaner is a pretty hilarious commercial.  But it’s also very professional-looking.  I wasn’t surprised at all when I read that it cost $7,000 to produce.  In fact, the only budget that surprised me was Time Machine‘s.  I thought it would have been a little more expensive.

And that leads us to a fact that FritoLay definitely tries to downplay; true “amateur” productions have pretty much zero chance of making the Crash the Super Bowl finals.  The judges in this contest can’t pick ads that aren’t TV quality.  And even though professional-quality production and post-production tools have gotten much cheaper, you still have to hire (or at least feed) a bunch of talented people who know how to use that new technology.  That might sound kind of unfair, but hey…who said the world of advertising was fair?  It costs money to make a commercial that’s good enough to air during the Super Bowl and in a way, you gotta respect the folks who are willing to take such a big gamble and sink so much of their own money into their submissions.

3 thoughts on “How much does it cost to make the Crash the Super Bowl finals?

  1. I could make all 5 of these commercials for $0. It’s called asking favors and having talent. I produce and direct national commercials on a monthly basis and can rip apart these spots one by one. Finger Cleaner from a production aspect does look good, but 7k to create? Dumb. And 5k for Cowboy Kid? You think they could have hired at least a decent keying artist to remove the spilled green screen, and for god sakes color correct it to match the rest of the environment. Then again, most viewers will think all of these spots looks pro. Next.

  2. Wuddup,

    You produce and direct national commercials on a monthly basis? Care to share some of your work? Or maybe you could at least tell us your name?

    I checked my traffic logs for your IP and this isn’t the first time you’ve left a negative comment here. But you’ve been posting under fake names and fake e-mail addresses. That’s a violation of our comment policy. You can say anything you want but you can’t hide behind a fake name. Unless you use your real name or at least provide your real e-mail address (which only I can see) from now on I can’t approve any more of your comments.

  3. Thanks for this overview Dan. These spots do look polished considering everything.

    Wuddup, I would be interested to see your $0 productions.

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