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VCN reviews the 2013 Crash the Super Bowl finalists

Well the wait is finally over!  At 8PM EST last night Doritos revealed their 5 finalists for the 2012-2013 installment of the Crash the Super Bowl contest.  The announcement came in the form of hosted by the “Doritos Girl” Ali Landry (who somehow looks hotter now than she did in her Dorito ad 15 years ago.)  FritoLay saw a MASSIVE drop in the number of entries they received this year and to me it seemed like the pickings were pretty slim.  But the Crash the Super Bowl judges managed to put together a decent list of finalists.  Each of the 2013 winners will receive $25,000 and a trip for two to the Super Bowl next month.  And the finalists are….

1.  by Ben Callner of Atlanta, Georgia

2.  by Tyler Dixon of Los Angeles, California

3.  by Mark Freiburger of Los Angeles, California

4.  by Sasha Shemirani of San Diego, California

5.  by Joe Taranto of Los Angeles, California

Overall this is a very interesting top 5.  All the selected ads feel like Crash the Super Bowl commercials but I suspect that maybe Friotlay brought in some fresh judges this year.  These picks are just sorta different than the stuff that normally makes the finals (and that’s a good thing.)  Ok, time for my reviews!

GOAT 4 SALE:  This might just be my new, all-time favorite Crash the Super Bowl entry.  I freaking love this ad.  It’s a perfect little 30 second short film.  The actors are great, the cinematography is fantastic, the pacing is perfect and the goat is destined to become a super star.  One of the best things about this commercial is that it actually does a good job of selling the featured product.  Watching Goat 4 Sale makes me want to fill my cabinets with Doritos and scarf down a whole bagful.  This year a public vote will choose one Doritos ad to air during the Super Bowl and then Fritolay will pick a second ad that will also air.  The team that made Goat 4 Sale shouldn’t even waste their time asking for votes because there is no way in heck that FritoLay won’t chose to run this spot during the big game.  This commercial is awesomely hilarious from beginning to end which means it will get a huge score in USA Today’s Ad Meter poll.  So if Goat 4 Sale airs during the Super Bowl it will be ranked one of the Top 3 ads of the game and honestly, I think it will actually take the #1 spot in a walk.  Plus after the game millions of people would go online so they can re-watch this ad.  That shot of the goat screaming will probably wind up being one of the most memorable moments of Super Bowl XLVII.

ROAD CHIP:  This one isn’t laugh-out-loud funny but it’s well made and I like it.  It’s pretty obvious that this ad was created by a director who really understands what it takes to win the Crash the Super Bowl contest.  (He’s made the finals 3 times now!)  Obviously super adorable dogs are good and obviously clever babies are good but if you feature a baby and a dog in your ad you’re probably going to score some major points with the focus groups that review the shortlist of potential CTSB finalists.  So sometimes it pays to pander! And I’m not trying to sound like a jerk, I’m being serious…this contest is about making a commercial that will be as popular as possible with as many viewers as possible and people just happen to like commercials that feature dogs and babies so filmmakers might as well give the people what they want. I don’t think this ad would make the top 3 on the Ad Meter but I do think it has a better shot than any of the other non-goat-themed finalists.

FASHIONISTA DADDY:  This pick really surprised me.  I think it’s cute and funny and very slick but it’s not very…oh I don’t know…epic.  This seems like the kind of video that might win $7,500 in a Poptent assignment.  Usually Crash the Super Bowl ads feel more original than this.  The “tough guys dress in drag” premise has been totally done to death, hasn’t it? Why would Doritos pick an ad with such a played out concept? I also don’t see this spot doing very well on the Ad Meter.  I think viewers will enjoy it and the wedding dress joke at the end is funny but the Super Bowl is when advertisers bring out their big guns.  This ad just won’t be able to beat whatever crazy commercials Bud Light or E-Trade or Volkswagon air.  Again, I do sorta kinda like Fashionista Daddy but no one is going to jump on the Internet after the game to re-watch this one.

EXPRESS CHECKOUT:  I like this one and I think it’s neat that Doritos actually picked a subtle video that isn’t filled with cute dogs and wacky toddlers.  This might sound weird but my favorite part of the ad is when the Kristen Schaal-esque checkout girl whispers “no” to the jerk in line.  The director of this ad clearly has a strong talent for directing actors.  All the characters play their roles just right.  If the jerk in line had been a little jerkier it would have ruined this spot.  And if the Kristen Schaal girl hadn’t gotten mad at the jerk it would have made her seem mean.  The bad news is that like “Fashionista Daddy” this ad probably wouldn’t score very well on the USA Today ad meter.  It’s a nice little short film but it would get lost in the shuffle on Super Bowl sunday.

FETCH:  I have mixed feelings about this ad.  It’s fun and well made and very amusing but it’s very similar to the 2012 CTSB finalist ad “.”  In Hot Wild Girls, two guys gets wishes from a Siri-like smartphone app.  They ask for Doritos and they magically appear.  Then they ask for some “Hot Wild Girls” and the phone thinks the guy asked for “Three Rottweilers.” So three Rottweilers show up and chase the guys away.  It’s pretty obvious that the writer of Fetch was ahem….inspired by Hot Wild Girls.  The plots are basically identical; the stars of both ads discover a magical thing that can bring them whatever they ask for.  They ask for Doritos and then they ask for hot women.  But the magical thing misunderstands and conjures up a scary animal that chases the guys away.  I’m really disappointed that Doritos chose to reward such a blatant act of copy-cattery. It’s a funny and well done copy but that doesn’t change the fact that the writer lifted the concept from a previous winner. Ok, just for the heck of it I’ll post Hot Wild Girls. Watch it and decide for yourself whether or not it “inspired” Fetch.

And now, here are a few random observations I have about this set of finalists:

-ONLY 1 REPEAT FINALIST MADE IT THIS YEAR This is a real surprise.  Last year 3 of the 5 selected ads were shot by filmmakers who had already seen their work make the top 5.  That’s pretty strange when you consider that last year the odds of making the finals were about 1 in 1,200. I did an interview with some of the top CTSB judges and posted an article that outlined the reasons why I thought the Crash kept getting so many repeat winners.  (For example, past winners had become friends with many of the judges during their trip to the Super Bowl.)  I don’t know if Doritos changed the way that they pick their finalists but I have a feeling that something was done about the problem since a lot of former finalists entered again but only one made the top 5.  UPDATE: Several sharp-eyed readers have messaged me to let me know that Fasionista Daddy was actually created by several guys that are affiliated with a team from Mosaic Church in LA who have written and produced 3 or 4(!) previous Crash the Super Bowl finalists including “Sling Baby” which won a million dollars last year. So….these dudes won a million bucks last year and even that didn’t get them to retire.

-THE DIRECTOR OF “ROAD CHIP” HAS MADE THE FINALS 3 YEARS IN A ROW:  The one former finalist who did manage to make the top 5 again this year is Tyler Dixon.  Dixon has now managed to make the finals in 2013, 2012 and 2011.  (That might sound shocking but last year a director named Kevin Willson made the finals for a 3rd time.)  Dixon’s entries are always pretty good but it’s impossible to deny that being a former finalist has given him a tremendous advantage over the rest of the filmmakers in this competition.  Another former finalist (that Dixon met at the Super Bowl in 2011) helped him make “Road Chip” and he was able to use his track record and the cash that he’s won to produce a professional-quality commercial.  According to the announcement video, Dixon looked at 100 different dogs and auditioned more than 40 toddlers before casting the adorable duo featured in Road Chip.  Most CTSB hopefuls have to use their own goofy dog and cast their buddy’s kid. Even the most professional entrants would be lucky to find a few real child actors interested in auditioning.  But if you’ve already won this contest twice and if your previous Doritos commercials have already aired on TV the whole process of making an entry becomes much, much easier.  Who wouldn’t want to work with someone who has proved that they can get really, really close to winning a million dollars in this contest?  Don’t get me wrong, I think Mr. Dixon is a talented guy and Road Chip is a pretty good commercial but just because you can spend a bunch of money and cast the best actors and get the best crew and make the finals every year doesn’t mean you should.  If you’ve already created 2 commercials that have aired on TV and if one of those ads actually aired during the SuperBowl then maybe it’s time to relinquish your amateur status, get a manager and become a professional commercial director. You don’t need to keep trying to win a million dollars, just go get a job with an agency and earn a million dollars.

-ONLY 2 OF THE 5 WINNING ADS FEATURED DOGS:  Commercials that feature dogs tend to do pretty well on the USA Today Ad Meter so for the last few years Doritos has gone dog-crazy.  But this year they only picked 2 dog-themed ads which is a nice change of pace.

-LITTLE GIRLS ARE THE NEW DOGS!:  I guess Fritolay must have gotten some focus group data that revealed that people love commercials that feature precocious little girls.  Doritos almost never picks ads that feature kids so it is kind of surprising that they’d pick two little girl-themed ads in one year.

-ALL 5 WINNING FILMMAKERS ARE DUDES:  Women might make up 51% if the population but they make up 0% of the winners of this year’s Crash the Super Bowl Contest.  There’s not really a lot FritoLay can do about this I guess but in the 6 years Doritos has been running this contest I think that only like 3 women have ever made the top 5 and that’s sort of a shame.

-NONE OF THE ADS STAR NON-WHITE ACTORS.  Again, I guess there’s nothing much Doritos could do about this but filmmakers….seriously, a little diversity will HELP your entry, not hurt it.  Hmm, I wonder if any of the 40 little girls that auditioned for Road Chip where black, Hispanic or Asian.  At least the director of Fashionista Daddy took a page out of Bud Light’s playbook and cast a multi-racial group of buddies.

-NONE OF THE FINALISTS ARE VERY “EXPLOSIVE.”  When Doritos launched this year’s Crash they implied that contestants might want to make their entries exciting, explosive or action packed since Michael Bay was going to help pick this year’s winners.  Well, I guess Michael Bay’s tastes have changed and he now prefers frilly tea parties and giggling toddlers over giant robots and graphic shoot outs.

-ALL 5 FINALISTS WERE UP FOR “NACHO AVERAGE AD AWARDS:  Ok, I did not see this coming.  All of the entries that made the finals had already been singled out by Doritos and nominated for Nacho Average Ad awards.  I really thought that Doritos would keep a few of the finalists in their pocket but I guess if you didn’t make the “Nacho Ad” shortlist you didn’t have a shot of making the final 5.

-I PREDICTED 2 OF THE 5 FINALISTS CORRECTLY!:  About 3,000 commercials were submitted to the Crash this year but by golly I was able to spot 2 finalists ahead of time; Goat 4 Sale and Road Chip.  I also listed 4 other possible contenders and that list included Fetch.  So I did pretty good this year but I’m seriously bummed that didn’t make it.  That one was awesome.

Voting is now open and you can vote once a day for your favorite ad from now until January 29th.  I’ll be voting for Goat 4 Sale even though I’m sure it’s a lock for the Super Bowl.  to watch the finalists and cast your vote.  But be warned, Doritos’ facebook app freaking sucks and every time you vote an ad for Doritos will basically pop up in your timeline.  After a month your friends are really going to be annoyed with all the “So-and-so cast a vote in the Crash the Super Bowl contest!” messages in their news feed.  I’m actually working on an article that explains how Doritos’ Facebook app almost ruined this year’s competition so check back here next week for that story.

One final note; VCN always gets a lot of new readers this time of year. If you’re new to the blog, thanks for visiting!  Be sure to bookmark us and/or follow us on Twitter if you’re into that sort of thing:

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27 Responses to “VCN reviews the 2013 Crash the Super Bowl finalists”

  1. Beardy says:

    Just a quick note: All opinions are welcome but things sometimes get kind of ugly during Crash the Super Bowl season. So we have a few rules about comments:

    1. Please be honest about who you are. (Don’t use a fake name to trash someone anonymously or to talk about how great you are.) If you have never left a comment on VCN before, please post using your real name or with an e-mail address that links to your personal facebook page.

    2. Be civil. No name calling, threats or insults are allowed.

    3. No trolling. If you try and troll here you will be blocked from leaving comments and your IP will be banned from ever accessing this site again.

    4. I reserve the right to delete or remove any comments that I think might be dishonest or troll-y. I also reserve the right to ban anyone from commenting for any reason without warning.

  2. Bgoodie says:

    WOW… shocking all were part of the “Nacho Awards” which was supposed to be for entertainment purposes. Sounds like a HUGE Class action lawsuit needs to be filed! It clearly was not for entertainment purposes! CLEARLY. ALL contests have to uphold to laws and they clearly broke them. Disappointing. Major disappointment. No wonder they had a drop in contestants this year. Its better to develop a commercial and then pitch it directly than to enter this contest.

    I’m so shocked that all were in the “entertainment only” part of the contest. I think Doritos better quickly open up and pick 5 more contestants to add that weren’t in the Nacho Awards. Since they have no problem changing the rules as they go… first Judged only… then they have focus groups on only some of the commercials… then they move the “entertainment” Nacho contest date of voting… then they push out when they announce the winner thus reducing the time of voting… etc. etc. What a joke!

    Are their any class action Attorneys reading this? They LOVE going after big companies that have lots of money!

  3. Bgoodie says:

    Also .. they only allowed their “entertainment” nacho ads to be shown on mobile devices cutting out all the contestants… which put those “Weird” commercials in the spotlight. The joke is I showed that finalist announcing video to people that have never seen any of them.. and not ONE person laughed out loud.

    Good news for all the other big ad agencies vying for the top spot on the AdMeter and Neilsen ratings!

  4. Beardy says:


    I follow this contest more closely than anyone and I can tell you that everything looks like it was totally on the up and up this year. Nothing shady or illegal or inappropriate happened. The Nacho Ad Awards were just for fun. They did not determine the winners. Doritos probably knew which ads they were going to pick for the finals before they even posted the Nacho Ad nominees. Views and votes had nothing to do with which videos made the top 5. Also, judges alone pick the winners. The focus groups do not pick the winners in any way. Doritos picks a shortlist of potential finalists and then they run them past a focus group to see how well they would do on the real USA Today ad meter. Doritos’ judges then go over the focus group data before making the final decision. It’s a really smart way to pick the winners and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing it that way.

  5. Bgoodie says:

    So the focus groups DO influence the “judging”. You said that “nothing wrong with doing that” .. EXCEPT that is NOT in the rules and the percentages are for judging and not based on a group of people AND the rules said that the Nacho Ad would NOT be used for the Top 5. Why did ALL 5 winners happen to be in the Nacho Ad contest? Not one other video made the top 5 that weren’t in the Nacho ad contest.

    For marketing purposes obviously a focus group is good but this is supposed to be a contest and they switched dates and the rules as they go.

  6. Tom says:

    It’s good to see the commercials that obviously pandered to Michael Bay weren’t chosen as finalists. But, I think Doritos could’ve been more creative with their choices, excluding Goat 4 Sale.

    Fetch and Express Checkout are surprising finalists. When I first saw Fetch a month ago, all I could think of was how strikingly similar it was to last year’s Hot Wild Girls. I guess the director of Hot Wild Girls should’ve just remade his own entry from last year instead of the video he entered this year. I wonder what he thinks of this choice by Doritos.

    Express Checkout only has one crotch shot. Typically, to be considered for a finalist, don’t you need at least two or three shots to the yarbles, if you have any yarbles? Also, the editor’s favorite color must be yellow.

  7. Adam Finmann says:

    I agree that “It’s A Trap” was robbed, that and Goat 4 Sale were the best videos this year.

  8. Tim Cruz says:

    re: Road Chip and Tyler

    For two years you have been whining about repeat finalists and semi professional filmmakers getting in the top 5 and it’s getting old and just pathetic.

    Who are these Directorial Managers/commercial prod companies looking to scoop up repeat finalists or people who have aired during the Super Bowl and shape their careers? What commercial agency would take a commercial campaign chance worth millions on a filmmaker who went through a crowd sourcing contest ?

    Commercial directors, art directors and commissioners don’t respect crowd sourced directors. It would be easier to go through a proven director.

    They always want to see more stuff. Why? Because you need to contribute/compete with the rooster of their other directors who have 20 COMMISSIONED AND AWARDED commercials under their belt vs your 5 crowd source videos that you did with your buddies.

    TO air multiple times during the SUPERBOWL is to PROVE that you can roll with the big guns. ONCE is not going to cut it.

    My friends and colleagues are REPEAT top 5′s for Crash the Superbowl. out of 5, only 1 has signed to a medium tier prod company and he still has to grind against the amazing amount of Talent los angeles has.

    Working your day job and saving up cash to spend on your speculative commercial is a NORMAL thing in Los Angeles/NYC. Calling in favors from your friends who work the trenches of production work with you to come in on their day off and help you make your commercial is common practice. The reason most of us are out here is to pursue our dreams. Good luck, im a fan of your work.

  9. Bgoodie says:

    Hey Beardy.. even you said that they probably haven’t had time to watch them all in your Nacho Ad Blog post:

    “I really thought that Doritos would keep the best entries hidden until they revealed the actual finalists in January. But if your entry didn’t get nominated for a Nacho award I still think you have a chance of making the top 5. A few Nacho nominees will probably make it but I’m sure that some of the big winners will be a surprise. After all, Doritos received almost 3,000 entries this year. I doubt that the judges have even had a chance to watch them all yet.”


  10. Bgoodie says:

    I’m fine with repeats and 2 (at least) out of the 5 have repeat people involved.

  11. Bgoodie says:

    I was just told to read the cover of the magazine in the “Fetch” commercial. I’m shocked… but not really when you are dealing with amateurs who think it’s cute to put in hidden stuff about guns and forcing a woman against her will without getting caught. I would say it’s a huge faux pas of Doritos!

    Several shocking things on there but the two that stand out the most

    “How to get rid of stalkers without using a shotgun & shovel”

    “Tricks to get her out of that suit –without her calling the cops”

    WOW! Gun reference (against the rules) and How to.. uhm… legally have sex with a woman against her will… the tricks on how to do that. Another text reads about how to get laid… bad choices all the way around.

    With the news about a 12 year old girl who had to use a shotgun to protect her self hiding in a closet while someone was after her… she lived thank God she had a shotgun. AND the multiple rape cases … the most current one in Ohio… oh and its tied to the local football team.

    SO UNCOOL! Clearly the judges failed again. I’m sure Doritos never thought to pause and read the fake magazine.

  12. Adam says:

    I am SHOCKED by Bgoodies comment – the text on that magazine cover is appalling!

  13. Tom says:

    This contest is becoming a joke now that two previous finalists and/or their cohorts have done it again.

    Beardy, isn’t Nate Daniels the same person that you exposed who was begging for votes on Sling Baby last year, while telling people to vote down the competition? How surprising that he’s a part of Fashionista Daddy this year.

  14. Bgoodie says:

    I hear crickets in here. Where is everybody?

  15. Beardy says:


    I was also wondering why there were’t many comments. Last year VCN’s post about the CTSB results got about 100…and most of them were from disgruntled contestants. I checked my traffic stats and the site has been getting twice as many visitors as we got last year. I think that people aren’t commenting much this year because this time the CTSB is being run on facebook. If you check Doritos facebook page, it’s full of of disgruntled comments. So I think the un-happy contestants are voicing their frustrations there this year.

  16. mr. G says:

    This year’s contest blows. Half the submissions, and the ones that were picked sucked. can’t believe these were the best of the finalists, especially the total knockoff of “3 rottweilers”. Completely unoriginal. This contest is going down the tubes.

  17. Shane says:

    i actually think FETCH is more of a knockoff of the Budlight Weego Ad from last year.

  18. Wow says:

    In Bud Light Weego there isn’t an issue presented at the end, which makes Fetch less like the Bud Light commercial and more like the finalist video submitted last year. Watch the behind the scenes of the finalist for FETCH, and he acts like he came up with the idea all alone, as to be some genius…. The entire timing, and concept was stolen from Hot Wild Girls. It’s sad that Doritos would choose it again, but maybe they knew it would receive good attention. Who knows

  19. [...] out the VCN’s reviews of the finalists here! I was going to write something up, but this is way more in-depth than I was planning to go. I [...]

  20. Bgoodie says:

    Fetch is by no means better than “Hot Wild Girls” and that didn’t air at the Super Bowl… so not good to pick a knock-off of the commercial that didn’t air. Why the heck did Doritos do that. The fact that it ties a dog into somehow getting the things makes it like the Bud Light Weego. That was my first thought when I saw it.. then I realized it is also like the “Hot Wild Girls”.

    Also since originality is 40% it leads one to believe that the judges scores don’t mean squat. I’m starting to believe it is rigged.. there is no way that based on scores alone would most of these make it. All were predictable except the Goat one and that has some creepy guy (why he would want a goat in the first place is questionable) and then he only has Doritos as his only food? That was creepy too. I did think it was a little funny the first time I saw it and thought it runs with the good ones.. but not better. AND it turns out its the best one out of the 5. Gheeze!

    Facebook was the wrong choice to partner. Their voting will be much less. They aren’t even on xBox. Facebook can’t handle the video and the links won’t work. You tube would have been a better choice. AND Facebook AdMeter last year wasn’t even coded right to stop at the end. The rankings were still changing after the winner was announced. That’s how reliable Facebook coders are. Joke.

    I think this totally opens the door for other brands to take the top places on the AdMeter. It will be fun to watch! :)

  21. Bgoodie says:

    BTW I’m really bothered by the magazine cover. Doritos kept deleting someone who kept just posting on FB the quotes from the magazine. If they don’t change it. It really should be reported to Abuse groups. Especially for women. Its like.. did you see the news? Plus it exposes the deep psyche of the person who thought it up and the people who approved it. They must have a hard time with women and abusive tendencies.

    Does anyone know where they got the picture of the woman. I’m curious if they have a release for that model since you can clearly make out who the person is. I wonder if Doritos got that release signed too.

  22. Bgoodie says:

    When I said “and the people who approve it.” I meant the Director and the team of people. You know they all looked at it and thought it was funny. If I were an advertiser I wouldn’t like that Easter egg. It is very unprofessional.

  23. PastFinalist says:

    I am a past finalist myself, and I can assure that voting has no action in this contest. It is definitely “rigged” if you would like to use that term. The brand will always control the outcome, they will not rely on users to choose their spot. Trust me…My spot generated more attention than all of the ones that aired and I even spoke with top executives to confirm this. It’ll slowly become more of a gimmick than the awesome contest it once was.

  24. Adam Finmann says:

    I again agree with Bgoodie!

  25. Eric Delgado says:

    Yo Beardy!
    Eric Delgado (writer of “Hot Wild Girls”) here! Just wanted to say congrats to all the finalists! Well done! Just got done reading your review of the entries and I must say that you’re right about “Goat 4 Sale”.. That’s gotta be a favorite. I’ll also be rooting for “Fetch”. Why you ask? Because its one heck of a concept. ;)
    Have a good one folks!

  26. Keith Hopkin says:

    Hey Beardy,

    I’ve been entering since the beginning and it’s always interesting to see what gets picked. Like you I was really rooting for “It’s a Trap” (and of course my own!) and was surprised by most of the finalists. “Goat 4 Sale” was definitely up there though.

    There are so many repeated ideas every year now. It would probably taint the submissions but I would love if Doritos posted something like

    “Here are the most common submissions: babies, dogs, zombies, cheesy crumbs, etc”

    At least they increased their music library this year. There’s nothing worse than clicking through a few hundred submissions with the SAME 4 MUSIC TRACKS!

  27. Bgoodie says:

    LOL Anyone can sign-up and be a panelist on the USA Today AdMeter. This is becoming more of a joke than ever! Usually the contestants in a contest can’t be “Judges” in the same contest! Not the case this year! If I had a finalist video I would get everybody to sign up to be a panelist. Problem is that it will skew the normal results and therefore the outcome of the AdMeter this year will be tainted. We will have to look at the Nielsen Ratings to true results this year! There are a lot of disgruntled entries this year…. I wonder if they will sign up and vote another company in the top! I know a few ad companies that would LOVE THAT!


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