A brief history of the Crash the Super Bowl contest

Flashback: Logo from the first installment of the CTSB contest

Did you know that there’s no wikipedia entry for Doritos’ Crash the Super Bowl contest?  Is that weird or what?  Everything has a Wikipedia entry.  For God’s Sake, the Nickelodeon show “Hey Dude” which ran from 1989 to 1991 has a massive Wikipedia page complete with episode guides. (I clicked the “Random Article” button on Wikipedia and the Hey Dude entry was the first one to pop up)  Over the last two and half year’s I’ve written dozens of articles about “The Crash” and I’ve had to spend a lot of time searching the web for information.  It would be really helpful if some nerd out there would just compile a bunch of facts about the contest and post them online.

Oh wait….I guess if anyone is nerdy enough to do something like that it’s me.  It took me a lot of googling but I’ve found a ton of data about The Crash and I will list it all in this single post.  This is going to be just basic stuff like who made the finals, who won, how many entries where received, etc.  Please be aware that if you are actually interested in this type of data that pretty much means you are as big of a nerd as I am.

Let’s start with the number of entries the contest has received over the years.  Most of these numbers come from old articles or press releases that were put out by Fritolay:



2006/2007 Installment: 1,065 Doritos entries.

2007/2008: No commercial contest that season.

2008/2009 Installment: 1961 Doritos Entries.

2009/2010 Installment: 4023 Doritos Entries

2010/2011 Installment: 4,260 Doritos Entries.

2011/2012 Installment: 6,100 Doritos Entries.

Note: In 2010, Pepsi Max was also part of the Crash the Super Bowl contest. Pepsi Max received 1,460 submissions. But the Pepsi Max “Crash” was pretty much a totally different contest run by a different company and a different set of judges. So for the rest of this article I’m just going to focus on the Doritos contest. And now, time for a graph:

Hey, those points look like doritos!

Pretty amazing, huh? This contest has just grown like crazy over the years. Bet you’re kicking yourself right now for not entering back in 2006. So it looks like the number of submissions doubled after the 2008/2009 Crash the Super Bowl contest. But why? Probably because the winner of the 2009 contest, scored the #1 spot on the USA Today ad meter poll and the guys who made the ad, Joe and Dave Herbert won a million bucks.  After people saw that it was possible for an “average joe” to win the million dollar bonus the contest just blew up.

But this raw data doesn’t tell the whole story. If you’ve entered past installments of the CTSB contest you know that every year, Doritos gets HUNDREDS of duplicate entries. I think the rules say that you can submit up to 10 versions of your commercial. And some people just uploaded their video 10 times. Some probably did it because they were unsure if the initial upload worked. But I think others used to do it just because they thought maybe it would improve their chances.

The repeat entries used to be really annoying. It seemed like for every 100 submissions I watched, at least 20 would be repeats. But fortunately, this year Doritos finally took measures to keep the duplicates out of the video gallery. I’d estimate that only 5% of this season’s submissions were repeats.  So just for the fun of it let’s adjust the numbers to account for all the duplicates. I’ll deduct 20% from each total except for 2011. For this year’s total I’ll only deduct 5%.



2006/2007 Installment: 852 Unique Doritos entries.

2008/2009 Installment: 1569 Unique Doritos Entries.

2009/2010 Installment: 3,220 Unique Doritos Entries.

2010/2011 Installment: 3,408 Unique Doritos Entries.

2011/2012 Installment: 5,795 Unique Doritos Entries.

Now let’s do a little light math. Each year, Doritos picks 5 finalists. (Except in the 09-10 contest when they picked 6 finalists)  So it’s easy to calculate a contestant’s chance of making the finals.



2006/2007 Installment: 1 in 170.

2008/2009 Installment: 1 in 313.

2009/2010 Installment: 1 in 536.

2010/2011 Installment: 1 in 681.

2011/2012 Installment: 1 in 1,159.

Anyone who has watched a few random CTSB entries knows that most of the submissions Doritos receives every year just aren’t that great.  But there’s no possible way to estimate what a filmmaker’s odds are if he makes a GOOD submission.  So I won’t even try.  Let’s move on to a list of who has won the contest over the years.  I’ll include the Pepsi Max Crash the Super Bowl finalists just for the heck of it.  You can find all of these commercials on the official .

2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 AND 2012 CRASH THE SUPER BOWL FINALISTS:

2006-2007 Finalists:

1.  Live the Flavor by Five Points Productions of Cary, NC.
-WINNER:  Aired during the Super Bowl.

2.  Check Out Girl by Kristin C. Dehnert of Los Angeles, CA.
-Also aired during the 2007 Super Bowl.

3.  Mouse Trap by Billy Federighi of Beverly Hills, CA.
-Aired during the 2008 Super Bowl.

4.  Chip Lover’s Dream by Jared Cicon of Claremont, CA.

3.  Duct Tape by Joe Herbert of Batesville, IN.


2007-2008:  No Commercial contest


2008-2009 Finalists:

1. Free Doritos by Joe Herbert of Batesville, IN.
-Aired during the Super Bowl. WINNER:  Million dollar bonus.

2. New Flavor Pitch by Oren Brimer of New York, NY.

3. Power of the Crunch by Eric Heimbold of Venice, CA.
-Also aired During the Super bowl.

4. The Chase by Chris Roberts of Burbank, CA.

5. Too Delicious by Michael Goubeaux of Los Angeles, CA.


2009-2010 Finalists:

1. Snack Attack Samurai by Ben Krueger of Minneapolis, MN.
-Aired during the Super Bowl.

2. The Smackout by Brendan Hayward of Santa Monica, CA.

3. Casket by Kevin Wilson of Whittier, CA.
-Aired during the Super Bowl.

4. House Rules by Joelle De Jesus of Los Angeles, CA.
-Aired during the Super Bowl.

5. Underdog by Five Points Productions of Cary, NC.
-Aired during the Super Bowl. WINNER: $600,000 Bonus.

6. Kids These Days by Nick Dimondi of Cary, NC


2010-2011 Doritos Finalists:

1.  Adam and Eve by Stephen Schuster of Topanga, CA.

2.  Best Part by Tyler Dixon of Lehi, Utah.
-Aired during the Super Bowl.

3.  Birthday Wish by Heather Kasprzak of Los Angeles, CA.

4.  House Sitting by Tynesha Williams of Santa Monica, CA.
-Aired during the Super Bowl.

5.  Pug Attack by JR Burningham of Burbank, CA.
-Aired during the Super Bowl. WINNER:  Million dollar Bonus.


2010-11 Pepsi Max Finalists:

1.  Elevator Girl by Michael Doneger of Los Angeles, CA

2.  First Date by Nick Simotas of Anaheim, CA.
-Aired during the Super Bowl.

3.  Love Hurts by Brad Bosley of Los Angeles, CA.
-Aired during the Super Bowl. WINNER: $400,000 Bonus.

4.  Torpedo Cooler by Brendan Hayward of Santa Monica, CA
-Aired during the Super Bowl.

5.  Zero Calories? Psshh by Brandy Gill of Orlando, FL


2011-12 Doritos Finalists:

1.  Bird of Prey by Joby Harris of Los Angeles, CA.

2.  Dog Park by Tyler Dixon of Liegh, UT.

3.  Hot Wild Girls by Brad Scott of Denver, CO.

4.  Man’s Best Friend by Jonathan Friedman of Virginia Beach, VA.

5.  Sling Baby by Kevin T. Willson of Los Angeles, CA.
And finally, since all the news articles and press releases I read always said where the finalists came from, let’s do a  breakdown of the states that gave us Crash the Super Bowl finalists:
The 31 Crash the Superbowl commercials came from directors in the following states:

California:  19 commercials

North Carolina:  3 commercials

Utah:  2 commercial

Indiana: 2 commercials

Florida:  1 commercial

New York:  1 commercial

Minnesota:  1 commercial

Colorado:  1 commercial

Virginia:  1 commercial
It should be no surprise that a lot of the winning commercials came from California since so many filmmakers live in the LA area.  But what is surprising is that a number of people have made the finals more than once.  The 3 North Carolina ads all came from a team known as Five-Points Productions, the 2 commercials from Indiana were both made by the famous Herbert Brothers, the 2 ads from Utah were directed by a filmmaker named Tyler Dixon and 4 of the California commercials (plus 1 of the Utah commercials) were made by a group of friends that all attended the same Church in Los Angeles.

I know that a lot of Crash the Super Bowl finalists (past and present) read this site. So if anyone sees any errors in this post, please let me know!

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6 Responses to “A brief history of the Crash the Super Bowl contest”

  1. Ian Eyre says:

    Correction to; “4 of the California commercials (plus 1 of the Utah commercials) were made by a group of friends that all attended the same Church in Los Angeles.

    Not all, FYI. These teams are loosely made from friends who often have affiliations with a number of Christian grassroots filmmaking circles that sometimes overlap but are not exclusive, including Mosaic LA you’ve mentioned before (www.mosaic.org), many other media savvy churches in Los Angeles (see http://www.hollywoodconnect.com), Act One Program alum (www.actoneprogram.com), Biola University’s Radio, TV and Film program, LAFSC, YWAM, and the 168 Hour Speed Filmmaking Project (www.168project.com). The community of so-called Christian filmmakers in Los Angeles is huge and diverse. Just a lot more friends and resources than one church.

  2. Jonathan says:

    Hello Beardy! Great job gathering up all the info on CTSB history (I’ve always been curious about it myself.) But, you forgot one state on your finalist list: Virginia. I’m the writer/director of “Man’s Best Friend,” and I hail from Virginia Beach.

    Thanks for all the great articles, and for supporting everyone during the Crash competition!

  3. Beardy says:


    Thanks for the info. I should have chosen my words more carefully. It seems that “many” of the crew attends mosaic. Casket was shot at a Mosaic church by a mosaic team. As far as I know, Birthday Wish, Dog Park, Bird of Prey and Sling Baby all were made (in part) by people who were part of the original casket/mosaic team. So while a lot of the cast and crew are part of a lot of different groups, they all seem to be “descendants” of the original group.


    Whoops, Thanks!

  4. Howard says:


    I read your last post about the crash the superbowl contest. You’ve really done a great job researching all this info. I think these numbers tell a story of bias. Three entries from one team in North Carolina? Multiple entries from one team in California? Two entries from one team in Indiana? If you showed these numbers and facts to a statistician they would tell you that there are too many coincidences and that this is not a fair contest.

    There was only one number you failed to give. That is the total number of entries over the years. That number is 17,409. The idea that one person could win this contest three years in a row is laughable.

    Do you have any plans to peruse some kind of legal action or launch an investigation of some kind? If so, I would very much like to be involved in your efforts. Over the years I have spent perhaps $3,000 on my Crash the Super Bowl entries and if I did not have a fair chance of winning I think I doritos should pay me back the money I wasted. If they got people to enter a contest under the false pretense that anyone can win, that is fraud.

  5. Ian Eyre says:

    Hey Beardy, one more correction. “Casket” was shot at a 100 yr old church that has no connection to Mosaic, but had the look that the filmmakers wanted so they ventured to inquire about filming there and the church was generous and helpful. Mosaic does not meet anywhere that looks like a church because they’re trying to reach people who have been hurt by traditional churches. They meet in theaters, arts spaces, warehouses and night clubs. If you want to know more just contact me personally or even visit Mosaic, but please stop the conjecture.

    Keep up the blog and keep it fun for everybody instead of creating divisions! I’d like to keep entering Doritos’ CTSB, but perhaps you could credit my future possible win from reading your blog instead of a conspiracy about having certain friends that won a previous year. Because, since I’ve volunteered to help them a few times, I’d be asking them to return the favor.

    Ian Eyre

  6. Joe Presswood says:

    I would like to see one more stat (if you have it)

    Movies that made the top 5 each year that was made with..
    1. A RED camera or that of same caliber
    2. A DSLR video camera like a Canon 5D.
    3. A normal HD home video camera.

    Think that would be a cool stat to check out.

    Thank you,

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