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….

Which Doritos ads will Crash the Super Bowl on Sunday?

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Two of these ads will air during The Super Bowl on Sunday.  But which two!??!

Super Bowl XLIX is still three days away but a whole buttload of Super Bowl commercials appeared online this week.  Did you see that Godaddy ad about the lady who sells the puppy?  Crap like that is one reason why I transferred my web hosting away from Godaddy.  On the flip side, that Snickers ad with Danny Trejo is going to go down as one of the best Super Bowl commercials of all time.  But that’s not surprising because Danny Trejo can do no wrong.

So what about Doritos?  Frito-Lay never reveals which Crash the Super Bowl ads are going to air so for now we’ll just have to make some educated guesses.  One of the winning commercials was picked via an online vote.  So let’s take a look at the view counts for all 10 finalists and see which ones were popular:

Lemonade Stand: 488,387 Views
Baby’s First Word: 475,221 Views
Middle Seat:  470,870 Views
What Could Go Wrong?:  429,607 Views
Trouble in the Back Seat:  423,582 Views
Doritos Angler: 413,067 Views
When Pigs Fly:  402,214 Views
Selfish Sneezers:  388,147 Views
Doritos Manchild:  379,307 Views
MissSpelling Bee: 373,552 Views

The numbers are pretty close here and there’s no clear landslide winner.  But I think Lemonade Stand will wind up winning the public vote.  I remember one year about 750,000 votes were cast in the CTSB contest so “get out the vote” campaigns don’t really have much affect.  Even if a contestant went on the local news and managed to get 1,000 extra people to vote for him, most of the votes in this contest will come from people who watch a few entries and then pick their favorite.  And since Lemonade Stand is objectively the best ad in the bunch, I think it’s going to win the million dollar grand prize.



Second place is a little harder to predict.  The second ad will be picked by the judges at Frito-Lay and I wouldn’t be surprised if they selected one of the weirder finalists.  Middle Seat is a great ad too but it contains a quick joke about Irritable Bowl Syndrome.  It’s a cheap shot that would upset a lot of people so I think that one joke will keep Middle Seat off the air.  And I can say with almost 100% confidence that there’s no way in hell that Trouble in the Back Seat will air.  That’s because AdWeek noticed something that I pointed out weeks ago; Trouble in the Back Seat was a little too similar to this Award-Winning European commercial:



Is Trouble in the Back Seat a rip off?  I can’t say for sure.  But FritoLay isn’t going to spend 4.5 Million dollars to air a commercial that MIGHT be based on a stolen idea.

The remaining ads are either too gross for the Super Bowl (Selfish Sneezers, MissSpelling Bee) or just not very original.  So I’m going to go out a limb here and predict that the judges will give second place to What Could Go Wrong?



I like this one because it’s cute and has a nice, low budget feel. Plus it has a weird and shocking ending.  The folks at Frito-Lay want two things here; they want people to re-watch the CTSB ads online and they want viewers to tweet and post about the commercials right after they air.  And What Could Go Wrong? Will accomplish both of those goals.  Plus the director of the ad has a great backstory….



Good Luck to all the finalists.  I’ll post the results of the Crash during the game so check back here if you miss any of the winners.

How much should you spend on your 2015 Crash the Super Bowl entry?

The 8th installment of Doritos’ annual Crash the Super Bowl commercial contest is now officially open and accepting submissions.  But you don’t need to run out and film your ad this weekend.  The deadline is still 54 days away.  That means there are eight saturdays and 8 sundays between now and 11:59PM CT on November 9th.  There are no advantages to being the first person to submit an entry; in fact, it seems like most of the winners submit their videos at the last minute.  So if you’re planning to enter the contest this year you should slow down and take a few weeks to carefully plan your production.

After you come up with an idea you’ll need to decide what your budget is going to be.  When you do, keep in mind that the goal here is to create a commercial good enough to air on TV.  The reality of the Crash the Super Bowl contest is that most of the “fan-made” ads that reach the finals were created by professional or semi-professional producers, directors, cinematographers and editors.  Every once in a while a true low-budget filmmaker will make it to the SuperBowl.  For example in 2012, “Man’s Best Friend” made the CTSB finals, won the online vote, aired during the super bowl and won the one million dollar USA Today Ad Meter bonus despite the fact that it only cost $20 to produce:

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Unfortunately, this is a better example of the type of video that typically makes the finals:

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Sling Baby” made the top five the same year as Man’s Best Friend.  A few days after the Super Bowl, the ad won an online poll (that looked rather easy to manipulate) so it also earned a Million Dollar bonus.  As you can probably tell, this was no “amateur” production.  It was created by a team of professional filmmakers in LA and cost $2,700 to produce.  Here’s a full crew list that I pulled from the old “Vote For Sling Baby” website:

DIRECTOR – Kevin T. Willson
EXEC. PRODUCER – Jeff Edwards
EXEC. PRODUCER – Dan McNeely
PRODUCER – Jason Dennis
WRITERS – Kevin T. Willson, Grant Nieporte, Sean Gaffney, Kevin Chesley
1ST AD – Heather Chalecki
2ND AD – Andy Peters
DP – Bernard Evans
1st AC – Jacqueline Stahl
1st AC – Trevor Smith
2nd AC – Dustin Miller
MEDIA MANAGER – Shane Sorenson
GAFFER – Edwin Kim
KEY GRIP – Becky Train
GRIP/ELECTRIC – Tyler Shaw
GRIP/ELECTRIC – Jay Castillo
GRIP/ELECTRIC – John Christensen
GRIP/ELECTRIC – Armando Crespo
ART DIRECTOR – Jalisco Wayne
SOUND MIXER – Matt Burgette
WARDROBE – Kristina Van Dyk
HAIR/MAKEUP – Amber Rae
STUDIO TEACHER – Kim Clifton
STUNT COORDINATOR – Ian Eyre
LOCATION – Ian Eyre
P.A./BTS – Tory Nelson
P.A. – Patrick Phillips
BTS – – David Reynosa
EDITOR – Bob Perkins
VFX – Justin Folk
SOUND DESIGN – Bob Perkins, Justin Folk
COLOR CORRECTION – Blacklist Productions
CASTING DIRECTOR – Sarah Domeier
SOCIAL MEDIA – Nate Daniels
ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY – Samuel Curphy
ON SET PHOTOGRAPHY – Jonathan Bell

Frito-Lay will probably receive around 5,000 submissions to the CTSB contest but I’m guessing only a handful will have one Production Assistant on their crew list, let alone two.  The marketing team behind The Crash enthusiastically push the idea that any “average joe” with a funny idea can win this contest.  But 9 years of history show us that this just isn’t the case.  Even the guy who shot “Man’s Best Friend” for $20 was a professional filmmaker who already owned all the equipment he needed to produce his ad.  And if you think that $2,700 is a lot of money to spend on a video contest entry, I have some bad news for you; Sling Baby‘s budget was actually kind of small.  The director of that ad, Kevin Willson has managed to make the finals 4 times now and some of his other entries cost upwards of $5,000.  (Including the 2014 runner-up, “Cowboy Kid.“)

When Doritos announces their picks for the finals in January they usually distribute an electronic press kit to the media that includes the budget for all the selected submissions.  Here now are the five 2014 finalists and how much each ad cost to create:

TIME MACHINE. Budget: $300:


OFFICE THIEF. Budget: $1,500-2,000:


Breakroom Ostrich. Budget: $1,700:



COWBOY KID. Budget: $5,000:


FINGER CLEANER. Budget: $7,000 (U.S.):

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Even though Time Machine was the cheapest finalist of the bunch, it went on to win the million dollar grand prize.   However, that $300 price tag is a little misleading.  The director shot Time Machine with a 2.5K Black Magic Cinema Camera and two Rokinon Cinema Prime lenses.  That’s a very pricey set-up but it helped his “low budget” commercial look good enough to air on HD TVs all around the world.

Does this mean that only well-equipped, well-connected, properly-financed filmmakers have a shot an making the CTSB finals?  Well, I hate to say it but yeah….it pretty much does mean that.  The Super Bowl is the biggest TV event of the year.  Doritos isn’t going to pay three million dollars to run a 30-second ad that doesn’t look and sound professional.  It hasn’t happened in 9 years and it’s not going to happen in 2015.  That means that if you want to win this contest you’re going to need two things; a great idea AND the resources necessary to create a good-looking TV commercial.

The Crash is Back! Doritos reveals their plans for the 2015 Crash the Super Bowl contest

My dream job?  Eating Doritos.
My dream job? Eating Doritos.

Doritos has finally confirmed that the Crash the Super Bowl contest will be back for 2015, and instead of “going global,” this year the contest will be going “Universal”  The winning filmmaker will receive a million dollars plus they’ll get a year-long “dream job” at Universal studios.  Here’s FritoLay’s official announcement video:
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The Crash the Super Bowl site is now live and the official rules have been posted.  (http://doritos.com/crashthesuperbowl)  Here are some of the highlights:

–  FritoLay will begin accepting entries on September 12th, 2014.

–  The deadline is November 9th, 2014.

–  The contest will be semi-global again this year.  You can enter if you live in any of these countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan and The United States of Awesome.

–  All entries must be uploaded and submitted via youtube.

–  This year the CTSB judges will pick and publish 30 semi-finalists in late November.  Every semi-finalist (that doesn’t go on to win a bigger prize) will win $1,000.

–  On January 5th, 2015, FritoLay will announce UP TO 10 FINALISTS.  (Rather than the usual 5!)  All 10 finalists will get to go to the Super Bowl and 8 of the 10 finalists will receive $25,000 each.

–  The “First Place winner ” will be selected by a panel of judges from FritoLay.  The winning filmmaker will receive $50,000 and their commercial MAY air during the Super Bowl.

–  The “Grand Prize Winner” will be determined by a public vote.  The winner will receive $1,000,000 and their commercial will air during the big game.  On top of that, the grand prize winner will also get a “dream job” as a consultant at Universal Studios in California.

I don’t think anyone was supposed to notice that the CTSB site was live yet.  So more details will be revealed on Thursday when the company officially announces the return of the contest.  As always, we’ll be posting lots of updates about The Crash so be sure to check back here 20 or 30 times a day for the next 5 months.

When will Doritos announce the 2015 Crash the Super Bowl contest?

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Dorito Time draws near…

VCN always sees a quick and sharp increase in traffic in late August.  All those new visitors are looking for information about the same thing; the Crash the Super Bowl contest.  So every year I post answers to a few Doritos-related FAQS:

Q:  Is Doritos running the Crash the Super Bowl contest again this year?

A:  Honestly….I have no idea!  The marketing team at FritoLay keeps all the contest details secret while they’re planning the next installment.  But I think it’s a pretty safe bet that the contest will be back for 2014-2015.  Doritos recently brought back a few of the commercials that won the CTSB contest in 2013 and 2014 (e.g. the one about the dad and daughter princess party and the one where the cowboy kid rides the dog like a horse) and I think they’re re-running those ads to kind of remind their fans that it’s almost CTSB time again.

Q:  When will Doritos announce the 2015 Crash the Super Bowl contest?

A:  If the contest is coming back again then FritoLay will probably announce the details in early to mid-september.  Last year they made their announcement on September 12th but the contest didn’t official open until October 8th.  The deadline for submissions was November 24th.

Q:  Do you think I should start working on my entry now?

A:  No.  People actually e-mail me and ask this question all year-round.  Some filmmakers get a good idea in their head and they want to shoot their entry weeks or months before the contest is announced.  But that’s a bad idea.  You should wait to find out if The Crash is even coming back before you shoot anything.  Plus you never know; FritoLay may decide to change the theme of the contest in some way.  It would really suck if you shot an entry about Nacho Cheese Doritos only to find out that this year the judges only want to see Cool Ranch commercials.

So that’s all I got.  You now know everything I know about the 2015 Crash the Super Bowl contest.  But keep checking VCN and I’ll post new information as soon as it comes in.