Doritos announces the FINAL installment of the Crash the Super Bowl contest!

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After nine years, 8 installments, 32,000 entries and $7,000,000 in prizes, Frito-Lay and PepsiCo have finally decided to retire the Crash the Super Bowl contest….after they run it just one more time!  Here’s what Frito-Lay’s VP of marketing Jeff Klein said about the company’s plans for 2016:

“We’re giving consumers one last shot to make their mark and see their homemade ads air during the Super Bowl broadcast,” J, said in a statement. “This is truly last call for all of those who not only want a shot at $1 million — but want a chance to jump-start their career in Hollywood.”

Frito-Lay claims that this will be the “most audacious” installment yet but it seems like they’ve actually scaled back the promotion this year.  Doritos usually picks 5 finalists and gives them each $25,000 and sends them to the Super Bowl.  Then Doritos airs at least two fan-made ads and the directors win either $1,000,000 (if they won the online voting) or $500,000 (if their ad was picked by the judges).  But this year there will only be 3 finalists and only one of their ads will make it to air.

But there is some good news here; this year there will be 50 semi-finalists and each one of them will $2,000.  I think that’s a great way to spread the fun (and wealth) around a little.  The finalists are getting bigger prizes too.  Instead of $25,000, the two non-winning finalists will recive $100,000 a piece.  And finally the grand prize winner will a get million bucks PLUS they’ll be offer an “epic gig” working with Zach Snyder, DC comics and Warner Brothers.

Because this is sorta the 10th anniversary of the CTSB contest (it was first launched in the fall of 2006) I had a feeling Doritos would be retiring the promotion this year.  Consumer-Generated content just isn’t as raw and exciting as it used to be.  Nine years ago it was big news that an “average Joe” would get to see his commercial air during the Super Bowl.  But we live in a viral culture now and we’re all used to the idea that some regular guy or gal from Nowheresville, Oklahoma can be a “star.”  Plus technology has advanced a lot in 10 years and some homemade ads look just as good as “real” TV commercials.  So the cutesy, low-budget gimmick became irrelevant a long time ago.

But ultimately it was probably money that killed the Crash the Super Bowl contest.  This year CBS is raising the price of 30-second Superbowl ads from $4.5 Million to $5 to $6 Million a piece.  It’s just too risky for FritoLay to buy $12,000,000 of ad time and then HOPE that they get at least two great, Super Bowl-worthy ads every year.

So it’s kinda too bad that the contest is ending but I do think that Frito-Lay made the right call.  I also think it was a genius move to announce the end of the contest before running the final installment.  The last CTSB contest ever is going to garner a huge amount of attention and I think the competition this year will be fierce.

The Crash the Super Bowl rules are already up and it looks like the site is actually excepting entries.  But I’d hold off on shooting anything for now.  You’ve got a long, long time to get your ideas ready; the deadline for entries is November 15th, which, according to the little counter at the top of the contest site, is 66 days, 2 hours and 20 minutes from now:  https://crashthesuperbowl.doritos.com

When will Doritos announce the 2016 Crash the Super Bowl contest?

The Crash will be back soon....better start training your dog now.
The Crash will be back soon….better start training your dog now.

Did you know that web traffic dips sharply in the summertime?  Isn’t that nice?  It means that millions of people are shutting off their computers and going to beaches and BBQs and Burning Men festivals.  For most of the summer VCN only gets about 2,000 page views a week.  But every year like clockwork that number shoots up during the 2nd week in August.

I just checked my web stats and the annual traffic phenomenon is once again in progress.  This late summer spike is always caused by the same thing; The Crash the Super Bowl contest.  Once summer starts to wind down, thousands of Doritos fans simultaneously realize that it’s almost time for FritoLay to announce the new installment of The Crash.  I’m not really sure why this happens.  Maybe people start thinking about football and that causes them to think about the Super Bowl and that makes them think about the contest?  Well, if you’re one of those aforementioned Doritos fans and if you’ve been scouring the web for details about this year’s contest, you’ve come to the right place.  Here are a few A’s for your Frequently Asked Q’s….

Q:  Will the Crash the Super Bowl contest happen again this year?

A:  Yes.  There hasn’t been a formal announcement but I’ve heard from multiple sources that the Crash will be back this fall.  In fact, it will probably be the biggest CTSB contest yet since 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the first Crash.

Q:  When will Doritos announce the contest?

A:  The company usually announces the return of the contest in early/mid-September.

Q:  When does the contest actually begin?

A:  The full details of The Crash are revealed in early October.  Doritos starts accepting entries the same day the rules are announced.

Q:  When is the Crash the Super Bowl deadline?

A:  The deadline is usually a few days before Thanksgiving.

Q:  Should I start working on my entry now!?!?

A:  No!  For Glob’s sake wait until the rules are announced!  You never know….this year Doritos might ask for entries that only feature Cool Ranch chips.  So just chill out for a few more weeks; Doritos season will be here before you know it….

MofilmPro goes public

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Most video contest/spec commercial sites occasionally run semi-secret “pro” contests that aren’t exactly open to the public.  Companies love these pro contests because they’re guaranteed to get professional-looking videos.  But any mid-sized production company can deliver a decent web ad.  So I guess some sponsors go out of their way to hire video contest filmmakers because they also want their ads to have an organic, crowdsource-y feel to them.

Only the best and most successful members of sites like Mofilm, Tongal and Poptent ever get invited to participate in these contests.  But now Mofilm is experimenting with a public version of their Pro assignments.  Right now they’re accepting ideas from all members of the Mofilm community for a contest sponsored by Dove.  Here are the details:

At this stage we’re looking for great filmmakers with a great subject. We are not looking for detailed treatments, just the basic outline of your story.

Step 1) Download the brief and read it carefully.

Step 2) Submit your idea for a film via the submission form above before the deadline. You must include a picture of the planned subject of your film.  Don’t forget to include your showreel or previous MOFILM work.

After reviewing the submissions, Dove and MOFILM will select six to move into the second stage and develop into full, detailed treatments.  From these six treatments, three will be chosen to move forward into production and awarded the production budget of $20,000 to make their film. One of the three commissioned will also join MOFILM to celebrate at the LA event in November!

There is a $500 fee paid for those who complete a treatment, this will be included in the production budget for those treatments selected for production.

I’m not sure how much of that $20K the filmmaker gets to keep for himself.  And what happens if they don’t spend the entire budget?  If I was selected for this I’d probably pay my mom two grand to do craft services and then I’d pay all my friends $100 each to focus test my video.  And that right there is reason #23 and #24 why I never get selected for these types of contests.  Of course reason #1 is that I’m a my Mofilm track record suuucks.  I’ve entered maybe three or four mofilm contests over the years and I’ve never placed once. And I actually won production grants for some of those videos!  Actually, I think those grants are what really messed me up.  I’m used to shooting videos for like $80 so if someone gives me $1,500 my natural low-budget style gets all screwed up.  So anyway, I probably won’t apply for the Dove contest but you should because you’re awesome and I love you and goddammit I believe in you!

You can find the listing for the Dove contest (and I assume future MofilmPro contests) at the bottom of their Live Briefs page: https://www.mofilm.com/briefs/open

That old car is worth money! Victory Auto Wreckers launches video contest to find a replacement for their 30-year old ad

Ok, this story is only going to be interesting to people who grew up in the Chicagoland area.  A junkyard in Bensenville has been running the same commercial for 30-freaking- years.  I’m not exaggerating when I say that I have seen this ad THOUSANDS of times in my life.  The phrase “That old car is worth money….” has been echoing in my brain since I was in the 2nd grade.  The commercial used to air during mid-day reruns of Gilligan’s Island and I Dream of Genie so every time I see it I’m reminded of those lazy afternoons in the 80’s when I got to stay home sick from school.  And now those knuckleheads at Victory Auto Wreckers want to replace it!  The company is running a video contest to find their new ad.  I know this because 3 people posted the link on my facebook page today.  But I’m going to boycott this contest because I think this ad should run for another million years.  Also the grand prize is only $500!  But hey, I guess that’s actually a pretty good deal.  I bet the guy in the original ad got way less than five hundred bucks and the sponsor managed to get a hell of a lot of mileage out of his work.

Tongal teams up with Lionsgate and Facebook to produce a series of fan-made Twilight films

huh
I bet they’re thinking about ideas for short films

If I were a 14-year old girl I’d probably love Twilight.  But I’m not a 14 year old girl.  I’m a grown-ass man.  So Twilight is totally foreign to me.  I know there’s a vampire guy named Edward and he loves that girl in the photo and they’re mad at a werewolf or something but that’s about all I’ve been able to pick up from all the Twilight trailers I’ve seen over the years.  Never the less, I do recognize that Twilight is a gigantic deal to a lot of people out there.  So here’s a bit of news should get Twi-hards AND video contest fans excited:  Lionsgate is teaming up with Facebook and Tongal to produce a series of at least 5 new, fan-made short films that will be set in the Twilight universe.  Most of the details for this contest are still under wraps but here’s some basic info from the New York Times:

Lions Gate and Stephenie Meyer, the creator of the vampires-and-werewolves “Twilight” saga, on Tuesday announced plans to select five aspiring female directors to make short films based on “Twilight” characters. The mini-movies, financed by Lions Gate and its production partners, will be shown exclusively on Facebook next year.

The short film series, called “The Storytellers — New Creative Voices of ‘The Twilight Saga,’ ” has the backing of Women in Film, an organization devoted in part to ending a shortage of female directors.

A group of female panelists, including the “Twilight” actress Kristen Stewart and Ms. Meyer, will select the winning shorts and mentor participants, Lions Gate said. Other panelists include the actresses Kate Winslet, Octavia Spencer and Julie Bowen; Catherine Hardwicke, who directed the first “Twilight” movie; the film producer Cathy Schulman; and Jennifer Lee, who co-directed “Frozen.”

Certain contest details, including the length of the shorts, are still being worked out and will be made available on Tongal.com, a crowdsourcing platform. A spokeswoman for Lions Gate declined to say how much the studio would spend, but added that it would be a “significant” amount, at least by short-film standards. The cast members of the “Twilight” movies are not expected to appear in the short films.

From what I’ve read it sounds like this project will be run in phases just like any other Tongal contest.  If you’re interested in pitching an idea you should check out this placeholder page and sign up to receive an announcement when the contest is officially launched:  https://tongal.com/twilight