If you’re a big Crash the Super Bowl nerd you’ll get a kick out of this entry. A California filmmaker named Fran Guijarro set out to create his own sequel to Jonathan Friedman’s 2011 submission, Man’s Best Friend. You might remember that commercial as the one where the giant dog kills and buries a cat and then buys his owner’s silence with some Doritos. That ad made the finals back in January and then won Friedman a million bucks after it was ranked the best commercial of the game. I really liked Man’s Best Friend and I really dig Guijarro’s unofficial response.
I think Fluffy’s Revenge is good enough to make the finals but I’d be really surprised if this one makes the top 5. People have short attention spans when it comes to commercials so I’m not sure a ton of people would get this spot. Plus it might be a little to meta for the folks at Fritolay. Still, I think it’s pretty damn clever and really well made.
Last fall, about 5,000 entries were submitted to Doritos’ Crash the Super Bowl contest. The number of submissions rises every year so your odds of winning aren’t super great. So when you’re trying to decide how much you should spend on your entry you might want to play it safe and follow that old gambling adage, “don’t bet more than you can afford to lose.” But to be totally frank, if you want to make the CTSB finals you’re probably going to have spend a lot more money than you’d expect. The idea that an amateur can “crash” the Super Bowl is sort of the whole point of this contest. But most of the commercials that make the finals are shot by professional or semi-professional filmmakers. And those pros often spend THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of dollars on their “fan made” ads. Fritolay’s official stance is that production quality is NOT considered by the judges when they pick their finalists. But to quote our adorable Vice President, that’s a bunch of malarkey. If a Crash the Super Bowl entry wins the public vote, Fritolay will spend about a million bucks to air it during the most-watched TV event of the year. Do you really think they’d pick ads for the finals that had crappy audio or that looked dark or grainy or blurry? Every single Crash the Super finalist that the Doritos judges have every picked was “TV-Quality.” And many were extremely professional looking. Based on their past choices, I suspect that the judges sometimes pick certain ads simply because they LOOK good enough to air during the Super Bowl.
For instance, check out this spot that made the CTSB finals in 2011. It was directed by a 3-time crash the Super Bowl finalist and produced by a 2-time crash the Super bowl finalist. It was shot in LA and was created by a crew of professional and semi-professional filmmakers and actors. Like many CTSB winners, it was shot with a RED camera. If you don’t know what a RED camera is, it’s a professional, film-like digital camera that is used to shoot feature films like District 9, The Amazing Spiderman and Prometheus. Its an amazing camera but it’s not cheap and it takes a skilled professional to operate it.
I was really surprised when “Birthday Wish” made the finals in 2011 since the ad wasn’t about the product being sold. The Doritos only got 1 mention and 2 seconds of decent screen time. But it looked pretty and it was kind of funny so Fritolay wouldn’t have been totally embarrassed if the ad aired during the big game. So how much did it actually cost to produce this ad? Here’s a quote I pulled from an interview with the producer:
“I’m managing about 50 people,” she said about this year’s contest entry. “We had a $3,000 budget, but everyone on it worked for free.”
Yes….that is an actual quote from the producer. “Birthday Wish” had a budget of $3,000 and 50 people(!) worked on it. And it wasn’t even a very fancy ad! It didn’t have any crazy stunts or effects and the whole thing took place in just a living room and a dining room. But expenses can ad up fast when you’re producing a video that needs to look really good on an HD TV.
Let’s take a look at another very professional looking CTBS ad. This one made the finals last year. It only cost $750 to produce and was shot with a Canon 7D.
“Bird of Prey” did cost under $1,000 but I’m guessing that it still cost more than 99% of the other commercials that were submitted last year. It was also made by a team of pros and semi-pros that had produced some past Crash the Super Bowl winners. (I think some of the crew may have worked on “Birthday Wish.”) According to the Bird of Prey website, it took 18 crew people to produce this spot and they even had a professional stunt coordinator. So most people who enter the Crash could never pull off a video like this without spending a boatload if money. If you’d like a better understanding of how complex some of these shoots can be, check out this behind the scenes video.
When Doritos announces their Top 5 picks they usually put out a press release that mentions how much each submission cost to produce. For the last few years, pretty much every Crash the Super Bowl finalist ad has cost at least $500 and many cost well over $1,000. Remember the Doritos ad “Sling Baby” from last year’s Super Bowl? That “fan-made” ad was directed by a 3-time Crash the Super Bowl winner (he also did Birthday Wish the year before) and cost $2,700 to produce. I could list the budgets of a bunch of other recent CSTB winners but the numbers would probably just depress the hell out of you. Now don’t get me wrong….I’m not hating on the filmmakers out there that have spent or will spend thousands of dollars on their CTSB entries. I absolutely respect filmmakers who are willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish their goals. Seriously, it takes some major cojones to spend $3,000 on a spec ad that might net you zero dollars. If you’ve got the money and the guts to go all in with your Crash the Super Bowl entry, I tip my hat to you.
So right about now you’re probably thinking about about selling all your stuff (and maybe your body) on craigslist so you can shoot a Doritos ad that actually has a chance of making the top 5. Well not so fast! Spending a small fortune and producing a super slick entry isn’t always a good idea. In fact, I think Doritos has passed on some entries because they don’t look homemade enough. Check out these amazing Crash the Super Bowl submissions that DIDN’T make the finals:
Those were pretty damn good and they looked as professional as any ad you’d see on TV. But they didn’t make the top 5. I think they were just TOO SLICK to win an “amateur” commercial contest. So while money IS a factor here, it is far from the only thing that matters. In fact, if you have an amazing idea, it doesn’t matter at all! Remember this ad from last year’s Superbowl?
That was Crash the Super Bowl winner “Man’s Best Friend.” It aired during the game and was ranked the number one best commercial of the Super Bowl on the USA Today ad meter. And that means the creator of that ad won a one million dollar bonus from Fritolay. So how much did Man’s Best Friend cost to produce?
So if you don’t have a few extra thousand dollars to spend on your Doritos commercial, don’t worry. If you can come up with a perfect, hilarious, once-in-a-life time commercial idea none of the judges are going to care how pretty your submission is.
It’s about 2:00AM on Monday morning and USA Today just released some ALL of the results of their annual Super Bowl ad meter poll. And guess what?? The Crash the Super Bowl ad, MAN’S BEST FRIEND scored the number one spot!!! That means the creator of that ad, Jon Friedman will win Doritos’ ONE MILLION DOLLAR ad meter bonus! And since his spot was the highest ranking Doritos commercial, Friedman also wins the chance to shoot a project (presumably a Doritos commercial) with the guys from The Lonely Island.
Here’s the entire Top 5 list. It looks like the other Crash the Super Bowl ad, Sling Baby just missed landing “in the money” and came in 4th.
Doritos – Man’s Best Friend – 8.82
Volkswagen – Dog Strikes Back – 8.73
Skechers – Go Run – 8.57
Doritos – Sling Baby – 8.48
M&Ms – Ms. Brown – 8.47
You can see USA Today’s complete ranking here. But let me save you some skimming: “The Tease,” the Dannon Yogurt ad that was shot for a Poptent assignment, came in 13th and “Happy Grad” which was shot for a Chevy contest on Mofilm came in 24th.
So all the “Crowdsourced” ads of Super Bowl 46 did pretty well. But mark my words, Man’s Best Friend’s million dollar win is going to be epic news this week. That commercial was produced for just 20 dollars! I interviewed the director a few weeks ago and he said the only expenses were a few bags of doritos and a cat collar. So man….score one for the little guys!
As I mentioned in my last post (the one I wrote before I knew USA Today would be releasing their results tonight) I explained that there are actually two ad meter polls happening this year. The second poll is being run on facebook and “the public” gets to pick the winners on that one. Doritos has pledged that if “Sling Baby” can score a spot in the top 3 on that poll they will also pay out a bonus prize to the director of that ad. Voting ends on Tuesday and I have zero doubt Sling Baby will make the top 3. Earlier tonight that ad was ranked #3 but now “the public” has pushed it into first. The team that created Sling Baby are now literally pros when it comes to winning online votes. So like I said, they’ll make the top 3 for sure. To vote in the facebbook ad meter poll, head here: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/superbowl-admeter
After the results of the facebook ad meter are released on wednesday, the 2011/2012 installment of Doritos’ Crash the Super Bowl contest will finally be over. To mark the end of this year’s contest, we’re going to be running one more story about the Crash next week. In the article we’ll try and answer the big question of 2012: Do former finalists have an unfair advantage in the Crash the Super Bowl contest? For the story I was actually able to interview some of the judges at fritolay who run the contest and who help choose the winners. I was seriously amazed at how open they were about how they pick their finalists every year so if you’re a hardcore CTSB fanatic, you’re definitely going to enjoy that post. Check back on 2/13 for the full story.
Congratulations to the Man’s Best Friend team and to all the video contest filmmakers who crashed the Super Bowl this year!