Posts Tagged ‘crash the superbowl’

Dortios and Michael Bay reveal the details of the 2013 Crash the Super Bowl contest!

DORITOS: They’re exploding with flavor!

Dortios is scheduled to announce the details of the 2012-2013 Crash the Superbowl contest during a webcast on at 8PM EST on Wednesday, September 19th.  But a few hours ago, USA Today spoiled the surprise and blabbed about all the stuff that Doritos was going to reveal tomorrow night.  So…SPOILER ALERT:  If you want to wait another 20 hours to hear some specifics about this year’s contest, look away now!

Ok, nobody really wants to wait until the webcast, right?  Good.  Here are the basic facts about the 2013 Crash the Super Bowl contest:

1.  Doritos is the only brand involved in the contest this year.

2.  FIVE finalists will be selected in January.

3.  The public will vote and TWO winning ads will air during the Super Bowl.

4.  If your ad scores the #1 spot on the USA Today ad meter you win a million dollar bonus.

None of those facts are especially shocking.  All those things pretty much happen every year.  But there are two NEW pieces of big news to report:

1.  If you make the finals and if your ad is the highest ranked Doritos commercial of the game you’ll will win a chance to work with Michael Bay on the next Transformers movie. What kind of job you would have isn’t clear yet.  I doubt you’ll be a producer or anything but hopefully this will be an actual, meaty job where you can get real on-set experience.  It would really suck if the winner was just a glorified PA.  I think the dream position would be as a second unit director.  If the winner got to direct a few action shots they could get into the DGA and they’d have an instant career in the film industry.  That would be a hell of a good prize.

2.  This year Doritos is going to try and involve non-filmmakers in the contest.  They will be encouraging people to offer up their homes, pets etc. to producers who are shooting entries for the contest.  This will happen via a special section on Doritos’ facebook page.

That’s all the news I’ve got to report right as of 11:00PM on the 18th.  I will update this post after the webcast tomorrow night!


POST-WEBCAST UPDATE:  It’s Wednesday night and I just watched the big CTSB webcast announcement.  Basically it was just a pre-recorded video that featured the guy in charge of the Crash, Jeff Klein and Michael Bay.  Bay took Klein on a little tour of his production offices and they talked a tiny bit about strategy.  I only learned one bit of new info from the video; Michael Bay will be one of the official Crash the Super Bowl judges this year.  Personally, I think that’s fantastic news.  I know that a lot of CTSB fans (myself included) are unhappy that the same people and ideas wind up winning this contest every year.  So maybe Bay will help Doritos make some bolder and more unique choices this time. The full webcast is now online and you can watch it .

After the webcast ended, disappeared!  It now looks like the entire contest WILL take place on facebook!  Yes, is dead and gone. Just a few minutes ago, Doritos changed their facebook page.  It now looks like this:


When you click on that Crash the Super Bowl tab it takes you to a “Get Started” page.  I’m sort of amazed that the contest is really going to be just a gigantic facebook app this year but I did totally call it!  It’s really a brilliant move on fritolay’s part.  For the next 4 months, millions of facebook feeds will be clogged with links to Crash the Super Bowl entries. When you upload your submission I bet all of your facebook friends will automatically see a link.  If an average of 5 people are involved with every CTSB submission and if they each have an average of 150 facebook friends and if 6,000 people enter the contest this year (same as last year) that means Crash the Superbowl entries will probably show up in the newsfeeds of about 4.5 million people!!!  The amount of free advertising Doritos will get out of this move boggles the mind!

The official rules are now live and on facebook.  Here are the key details you need to know:

1.  The contest opens on OCTOBER 8th.  The deadline for entries is NOVEMBER 16th.

2.  There will be a star-rating system “for entertainment purposes only.”

3.  A public vote will choose 1 of the 5 commercials that will air during the big game.

4.  A panel of judges will choose a second commercial to air too.

5.  The finalist prizes are the same as last year; $25,000 and a trip for 2 to the Super Bowl.

6.  The USA Today ad meter prizes are back too.  If your ad lands in the #1, #2 or #3 spot on the ad meter you’ll win a bonus of $1,000,000, $600,000, or $400,000.

7.  There is NO million dollar bonus for an ad that is ranked #1 on the FACEBOOK ad meter poll.  Doritos did this last year and the makers of the ad “Sling Baby” managed to win the online vote.  But they won because they had a small army of fans give bad scores to the other ads in the competition.  It was really uncool and I’m guessing that’s why the facebook vote got scrapped this year.  It was just too easy to manipulate the results.

8.  If you win and take the Transformers 4 gig you’ll get an extra $50,000.

You can read all the fine print for yourself here: 

This year I’m going to attempt to watch as many CTSB entries as possible and then I’ll post my favorite entries.  If you shoot an ad, be sure to send me a link. GOOD LUCK, EVERYBODY!!

Interview with Eric Delgado, co-creator of “Hot Wild Girls!”

The hot, wild girls of "Hot Wild Girls"

When the Crash the Super Bowl finalists were announced on January 4th, I was pleasantly surprised to see that an ad entitled “Hot Wild Girls” had made the Top 5.  Though the commercial was clever, topical and funny, it seemed like kind of an “outside the box” pick for doritos.  It didn’t feature anyone getting brutalized and it wasn’t an over-produced, super-slick interpretation of “user generated content.”  Instead it actually feels like real,  authentic, UGC.  It looks like it was shot by a few buddies in their living room because it was!  And while it does feature dogs, at least they weren’t trying to trick a cruel human into dropping his Doritos on the ground. (I was positive we’d see another “dog gets his revenge” ad this year since there were so many copycats in the gallery)

So I was really glad to see this spot make the finals.  And I was even more pleased when I found out “Hot Wild Girls” was made by a friend of VCN!  The ad was written by a reader named Eric Delgado of San Antonio, TX.  This is kind of insane but for the second time in about 8 months, Eric has a serious shot at winning a million dollars in a video contest.  Over the summer, he and his friends made the finals in Gain’s “Smell Like a Million Bucks” competition.  Ultimately his team didn’t win that contest but it seems like that brush with victory inspired them to “go big” when it came time to enter the biggest video contest of them all; Doritos’ Crash the Super Bowl contest.  And now, here’s out Q&A with Eric:

VCN:  Tell me about the “Hot Wild Girls” team.  Who are you guys?

ERIC:  Nate Watkin, Brad Scott and Eric Delgado. We are ex-MMA fighters from Denver, CO and San Antonio, TX with a combined record of 1-27 (Brad got the W because the other dude tapped out upon entering the cage claiming that Brad was “too pretty to hit.”)  Actually, Nate (my cousin) and Brad are the co-founders of their production company, Definite Productions, based in Denver.  They’ve been working together for about four years producing commercials and videos.  Last year, after Nate saw my Doritos entry for last year’s CTSB, we decided that we should work together on a future project since we all had a passion for comedic commercials.

The "Hot Wild Girls" team

VCN:  Have you guys entered many video contests in the past?

ERIC:  As a team, it’s our second contest.. We entered the Gain “Smell Like a Million Bucks” contest this past summer and we were actually a Top 25 finalist for the million dollar prize.  Sadly, we didn’t win.  That’s why we are pretty stoked about this Doritos opportunity.  We realize that we’ve overcome some pretty ridiculous odds and we are extremely grateful to be in this position.  Beardy’s Note:  Here’s his team’s Gain entry.  That’s Eric playing the role of the Repair Man:


VCN:  What made you want to enter the CTSB contest?

ERIC:  Honestly.. The opportunity to have our commercial/vision broadcasted to over 120 million people worldwide via the Super Bowl and the doors that’ll hopefully open as a result.. And of course the money. ;)   The money part should actually immediately follow the “Honestly..” mentioned above.  What? Just sayin’.

VCN:  Where did the idea for your entry come from?

ERIC:  My cranium.. But knowing you Beardy, you probably want some details.  I knew we needed something that was “trendy”.  I also knew the power of animals in a commercial.  I wrote and wrote for a few hours until finally I came up with dialogue that fulfilled the “twist” which, coincidentally, added the final ingredient… Gorgeous girls.  I love those girls Beardy…I have no problem admitting that.

VCN:  How was the ad produced?  What kind of camera did you use?  Mind if I ask what your budget was?

ERIC:  Pre-production consisted of a week of casting talent, securing a location, and locating 3 Rottweiler’s (thank you Camp Bow Wow!) that could work together.  We had a $2,000.00 budget that was used to pay the talent and makeup artist.  A friend loaned us the RED One camera to shoot this ad.  Nate and Brad chose this camera for it’s amazing picture quality and control of the final image.  Since our intention was hopefully to have this ad broadcasted, we felt it was best fit to shoot at a higher resolution.  We shot on-location during a 5-hour period and had to work around the shifting daylight.  All footage was logged within an hour of completing the shoot, and then edited the next day with a final that night due to the deadline of the contest.

Whoa, nice camera!

VCN:  So who gets to go to the Super Bowl?

ERIC:  Nate and Brad.  However, if the Cowboys we’re still in the playoffs, this would be a little different.  Stupid Cowboys.

VCN:  What are you doing to promote Hot Wild Girls?

ERIC:  Media (News/newspaper/radio interviews).. Social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter,, etc.).. Website ( Guerrilla marketing (fliers, posters, word of mouth, etc.)

VCN:  What has been the reaction of your family and friends to all this?

ERIC:  They have been AMAZINGLY supportive!  They are extremely proud and happy for us.. And we couldn’t be happier to have them along for the ride. We love ya’ll!!!  All that time spent in the past voting for a friend’s “Cutest Baby”, “Best Restaurant”, or “Prettiest Puppy” is finally paying off.

VCN:  Here on VCN we’ve talked a lot about finalists who are able to win the CTSB more than once.  Are you already planning your entry for 2013?

ERIC:  Absolutely. However, I hope they just announce the winner(s) before December 21, 2012. If I’m going down, I’d at least like to know that our commercial WOULD have aired during Super Bowl XLVII.

VCN:  Any final thoughts you’d care to share?

ERIC:  Yes.. And this is for your frequent visitors (like us.. fellow “Joe Handycams”) Beardy. There will always be people out there that criticize your work.  They’ll try and blast your creation on websites, forums, or maybe even the “comments” section under that YouTube video that you were proud to post even after a contest you didn’t win.  Who cares.. Let them criticize while you continue to create.  We are by no means experts in this art.. It simply makes us happy.

VCN:  Well said!


I’ve been voting for “Hot Wild Girls” every day and I think you should be doing the same.  It’s a cool, funny ad I’m hoping that if it airs during the Super Bowl and scores well on the ad meter, maybe next year Doritos will be inspired to make “outside of the box” picks when it comes time to choose their 2013 Crash the Super Bowl finalists.  To vote for Hot Wild Girls, just click here!

The 2012 Crash the Super Bowl Contenders!

This fall I sent a ridiculous goal for myself; I wanted to try and watch every, single Crash the Super Bowl entry and create a list of the best submissions.  But this year Doritos received a record number of videos.  In all, about 5,000 ads are on display in the contest gallery.  If one person were to sit and watch every one of those 30 second spots it would take them almost 42 man-hours to get through them all.  That’s a hell of a lot of zombies and crotch shots for one person to endure!

I tried to “watch” about 100 entries a day but I’ve been crazy busy lately and I just had to throw in the towel after about 4,000 videos.  And I put “watch” in quotation marks because I didn’t actually watch all of those entries all the way to the end.  In fact, I would estimate that I only watched 10% of those ads all the way through.  Why? Because to be frank, you can tell if a submission has a shot at winning after just the first few seconds.  If an entry has terrible sound and bad picture and features people drinking beer or wearing t-shirts with recognizable trademarks on them then that entry is simply un-airable.  So I skipped past most of the entries after about 3 or 4 seconds.

However, even though I only made it through about 70 or 80% of the submissions I think I was able to find most of the best entries in the contest.  For the videos I couldn’t get to, I scrolled through the video gallery and stopped to check out the ads that had high-quality looking thumbnails.  That might sound like a weird strategy but try it; you’ll find that if an entry’s thumbnail image looks good, the ad itself is probably decent.  But I also owe a huge thanks to all of our readers who submitted their links or who sent me tips about great entries. I bet half of this “best of” list came from reader suggestions.

So how did I determine whether or not an entry was a contender?  First, I eliminated every entry that had the following problems:

1.  Un-fixable trademark or copyright violations

2.  Un-fixable rule violations.

3.  Offensive of disgusting content.

4.  An idea that has already been done to death.

5.  Very low production values.

Though Doritos has claimed that production quality doesn’t matter to them…it does.  In 5 years, Doritos has never picked a finalist that had bad lighting, video or sound.  So I would say that production values are a HUGE (but unofficial) factor in picking the Top 5.  Every year Fritolay’s judges pick some not-so-funny but gorgeous looking, (relatively) big budget submissions.  But they have never picked a hilarious but kind of crappy looking video for the finals.  In fact, I’d estimate that at least 60% of all the past CSTB final ads were either shot on actual film or with high-end RED cameras.  And this year I bet at least 3 of the 5 finalists will be shot with REDs.

So anyway, those were the problems I looked for.  If a video didn’t have any of those issues, and if I was able to get through the whole video without being bored or turned off, here are the 4 questions I asked myself:

1.  Based on how the Ad Meter works, does this spot have a chance at scoring well?

2.  If people saw this ad on tv, would they like it enough to want to see it again later online?

3.  Based on past finalist selections, does this video fit the tone and style of the videos that the judges at Fritolay seem to like?

4.  Is it funny, memorable or special?

And that left me with a list of about 50 videos.  Then I whittled that number down to this list of 25 ads.  No wait…actually I’m going to share 26 videos.  Why 26?  Because one of these videos in my submission!  I’ll just mix it in with the rest and you guys can consider it like a little Easter egg.  If you can guess which one is mine, post your pick in a comment!  Seriously though, I’m very proud of my team’s entry and I swear, if I hadn’t made it I would still include it in this list.  But of course, my entry would obviously suit my own sense of humor since I wrote the thing.

Finally, there’s one other point I feel the need to make.  Because this is a list of ads that I think have a shot at making the Final 5, there are a few videos here that I personally freaking HATE.  But as I said, Doritos seems to really prefer gorgeous-looking ads so there are a few amazing looking but un-funny videos on this list.

And now, here is VCN’s list of the 2012 Crash the Superbowl Contenders!  All the entries will be listed in alphabetical order.  Click the images to view the entries.  Here we go!

A DAY AT THE ZOO:  This one is full of action, comedy and big wacky characters.  I’d call this one a sure thing but the costumes are TOO good.  I think the Zebra and the Lion are supposed to be the characters from the movie Madagascar.  If that’s the case this video could never get cleared to air.

A Day at the Zoo

BABY DORITOS: This one is just bonkers.  But I like it.  It probably is too crazy to make the final 5 though:

Baby Doritos

BAD MONSTER: This is one of my personal favorites.  It’s such a pure and simple idea that I can’t believe it’s never been done before.  But the Universal-style Frankenstein might also prevent this one from getting cleared for air.

Bad Monster

BIRD OF PREY: I’m not going to mince words; I despise this entry.  I’ve seen too many poor, dead birds that smashed into windows in my life to think this is funny.  But I think I hate this entry all the more because I know it will probably make the finals.  Sorry to get Shakespearean on you but this ad is full of sound and fury but signifies nothing.  It’s not funny but it LOOKS funny and it hits all the right beats.  But the comedy falls flat because there is simply no reason this goofy guy should be acting like a bird.  So it’s just crazniess for craziness’ sake.  One more issue:  The lead actor in this ad was also the lead in 2010 Crash the Super Bowl finalist ad, Casket. (He played the guy in the titular casket.)  Actually, I did some googling and Bird of Prey was made by the same LA Megachurch that created Casket.  Casting the same lead actor was a bad move; if Bird of Prey makes the finals it will look like that actor is some fritolay executive’s nephew of something.  If the Doritos judges pass on this ad I’ll be pretty darn proud of them.  They won’t though.  It will be in the finals.

Bird of Prey

BROKEN CAPE: This one’s just amusing and quirky.  It kind of reminded me of the simple “keep your hands of my momma, keep your hands off my doritos” ad from a few years ago.

Broken Cape

CALL OF THE SEA:  The judges in this contest love weird, random, quirky stuff and nothing is weirder or more random than a fisherman catching “the king of the sea.”  I originally considered this spot too strange to include on this list but about 10 minutes after I watched it I was compelled to go back and watch it again.  So it’s re-watch-ability sealed the deal for me.

Call of the sea

CAVES AND MONSTERS:  Brilliant.  Clearly a masterpiece that was created by some kind of video contest genius.  Doritos should just cancel the whole contest and send the director of this ad the million bucks…whoever he may be!  (Winky-face!!)

Caves and Monsters

DISTURBANCE:  I feel like 1 out of every 10 entries I watched this year was a parody of Paranormal Activity.  This is the only good one I saw.  Actually, I’d say this is one of my personal favorites.  The twist at the end is perfect.

DODGEBALL HUSTLE:  I think I had this day dream 100 times when I was a kid.

Dodgeball Hustle

DORITOS DAD:  This one isn’t too crazy or quirky but it’s funny and well made.  It could sneak into the Top 5.

Doritos Dad

DORITO TRIANGLE: This is hands down one of the slickest CTSB ads ever made.  I can’t imagine how much it cost or how much time went into creating this spot.  The funny thing is though that this ad probably can’t win!  It references a bunch of real people and I don’t think you can refer to people like Elvis and Jimmy Hoffa in a commercial without getting the consent of their estates.  Oh and also the ad isn’t too funny.  It’s sort of only impressive because it’s competing against a bunch of videos that were shot by teenagers with flip cameras.

Doritos Triangle

FOOD FIGHT BLITZ:  Every year Doritos gets a million food fight videos.  But this one was shot with a high-end camera and looks pretty slick.

Food Fight Blitz

GRAVITY:  This one looks great and it has a big, shocking, violent ending which is always a big plus.  But in this case, one of the people getting hurt was a woman.  And she gets smooshed pretty hard.  So I’m not sure if Doritos would take a gamble and pick any ad that showed violence happening to a woman.  When a dude gets hit in the nuts it’s funny but when a woman gets crushed and (presumably) killed in a commercial people are going to get upset.  To make things trickier, the editor inserted the famous “Wilhelm Scream” and I don’t think any unoriginal sound effects are allowed.  It’s also a real turn off that the makers of this ad already built a slick website asking people to “Vote for Gravity” if it makes the finals: 


HITCHHIKER: This was one of the very first great ads I saw this year.  I think this one is a MAJOR contender but there’s a chance that the surprise at the end has been over-exposed thanks to similar “shock” videos on the web.


HIPSTER KIDS: This one makes the list just because it’s a gorgeous, expensive looking ad that was probably made by some of NYU’s most promising film students.  It’s not funny though and hipsters and cute kids acting like adults both make my skin crawl.  So this one is a double-whammy for me but I can see how the judges could get blinded by the amazing cinematography and the little kids in funny costumes.

Hipster Kids

IMAGINARY FRIEND: Pretty good.  This one seems like it was made by some people who carefully studied what kind of ads usually make the finals.

Imaginary Friend

JURASSIC KARMA:  This one is cute and the ending did make me laugh out loud.  The CGI is amazing for a video contest but I’m thinking it might not be pro enough for the super bowl.

Jurassic Karma

KITTY HEIST:  This entry was directed by two-time Crash the Super Bowl finalist Kevin Wilson.  (He directed Casket in 2010 and Birthday Wish in 2011)  This one is obviously cute but the only reason this ad is any good is because the producers poured a bunch of money into this project.  In fact, the same thing could be said of Casket and Birthday wish.  All 3 ads were shot with RED cameras and were probably cost at least $3,000 each to make.  And that bothers me because it feels like this one filmmaker is able to just buy his way into the finals every year.  And the more he wins, the more money he has to spend on his entry next year.  This same director also submitted a second, very slick entry this year entitled Sling Baby but I think Kitty Heist has a much better chance of making the top 5.

Kitty Heist

MAKE THE MOST OF IT:  A few weeks ago I listed the “Top 5 most over-done Crash the Super Bowl ideas” and right at the top of my list was “Zombies.”  This year it felt like 5% of the submissions I watched had zombies in them.  I thought zombies in a CTSB entry would never seem fresh.  And then I saw this entry.  This one is absolutely perfect.  But it might be a little too edgy for the Super Bowl.  Not only is there a little gore, this spot acknowledges the existence of sex (gasp!)  The actors are fantastic and they really nail the excellent script.  If the Doritos judges feel like making one really ballsy pick this year, it will be this ad.

Make the Most of it

MAYBE NEXT YEAR: This is kind of a strange one but that baby cracks me up.  If this aired during the super bowl people would just stop talking/eating/whatever to stare at the giant baby face and the pretty cinematography..  But unlike a lot of slick looking ads, this entry actually has a strong “punchline.”

Maybe Next Year

MY FRIEND ARCHIE: Even by professional standards, the CGI in this video is pretty darn good.  And it also manages to be kind of funny.  But what matters in this contest is humor.  If Doritos wanted slick CGI, they could just pay ILM to make them the most kick ass robot dog ever.  Still, if this one makes the final 5 I won’t be totally shocked.

My Friend Archie

PAINT FIGHT:  I personally like ads that have lots of action and a very simple storyline.  Actually, the judges at fritolay seem to like that too.  This ad has both of those features.

Paint Fight

PINATA:  I have seen roughly 100 billion CTSB entries that feature a piñata that is either a bag of Doritos or is filled with dortios.  I don’t really like the concept but of all the piñata-themed ads I’ve seen, this one is the best.


SERIOUS PROBLEM:  I saw a bunch of pretty good ghost-themed ads this year.  Many of them had really great effects but not a lot of laughs.  But I thought this one was kind of neat.  It’s not super hilarious or anything but its good for a chuckle.  Plus I like that he ghost is a pilgrim for no good reason.

Serious Problem

SURPRISINGLY BIG TASTE:  This is one of the only entries that actually made me laugh out loud.  And it’s exciting too!  I think it’s one of the most suspenseful video contest entries I’ve ever seen. You are just sitting and waiting to see what kind of horrible fate befalls that Innocent little toddler.

Surprisingly Big Taste

TONGUE LOVE:  I’m going to call it:  Tongue Love is my favorite 2012 Crash the Super Bowl entry.  It’s simply ridiculous and awesome.  The guy in the video is amazing and the twist at the end is just icing on the cake.  I’m worried the tongue-humping might be a little too graphic for the judges though.  Plus I think that there might even be a rule that says that characters aren’t allowed to sing or rap over the provided music.

Tongue Love

Wow, what a perfect place to end the list!  Hey see what I mean about videos with good thumbnails?  Almost every one of these videos can be summed up with a single, iconic image.  So…that’s the list.  If you’re entry didn’t make it, please don’t take it personally.  There were at least 25 other strong submissions I considered for this article.  So just tell yourself that yours just barely missed the cut.  If I missed any really great spots, be sure to leave a comment and me know.  And if you think my list is full of shit you can let me know that too.

One final note:  Today is December 21st.  And aside from being my birthday (yes, for serious) it is also the day that Fritolay might be calling the potential finalists!  I have talked to a lot of former Crash the Super Bowl finalists and I always ask them “How and when did Doritos give you the good news?”  They always say the same thing; they got a call 2 or 3 days before Christmas eve.  So I hope you all charged your cell phones last night.  Good luck everybody!

Interview with Pepsi Max Crash the Super Bowl finalist, Kyle Stafford

Kyle battles a Doritos-loving kid in his 2012 Crash the Super Bowl entry, Switcheroo

When it was announced the Pepsi Max wasn’t going to be a part of this year’s Crash the Superbowl contest I was both disappointed and relived; disappointed because that meant there would be only 5 finalist slots instead of 10 and relived because the folks at Pepsi simply did not seem to get this contest.  The people at Doritos who created and run “The Crash” have spent years building up the reputation of this mega-contest and in one season, the Pepsi Max team came in and did serious damage to the CTSB “brand.”

Pepsi Max hurt the contest in a few ways but it all comes down to which videos they picked for the Top 5.  When the 2010/2011 contest was announced, the Pepsi team kept pushing the idea that Pepsi Max was a “manly” diet drink.  And so, hundreds of filmmakers shot ads that were aimed at selling Pepsi Max to men.  But somewhere along the way, Pepsi must have changed their marketing strategy for Pepsi Max.  Because when they announced their finalists, 4 of the top 5 videos were clearly aimed at selling Pepsi Max to women.  That upset quite a few people.  But that was nothing compared to the backlash when fans actually watched Pepsi Max’s finalist choices.  Two of them were embarrassingly bad and a third ad was very-expensive looking but it wasn’t especially funny. It aired during the big game and scored 24th on the USA Today Ad Meter…which I believe makes it the worst performing CTSB ad ever.

So Pepsi’s Top 5 were just not on par with the kind of ads that Doritos always picked. There were only two 2011 Pepsi Max Crash the Super Bowl finalists that I personally liked.  One was “” and the other was this ad entitled, First Date:

One thing the Pepsi Judges did that kind of impressed me was that they weren’t afraid to pick ads that didn’t have high-end production values. (Of course, I think this strategy backfired in one or two cases) First Date doesn’t look super slick and it wasn’t shot with a $18,000 Red Camera.  The thing it has going for it is great writing.  It’s clever and interesting and it’s aimed at both women AND men.  And best of all, it’s TRUE.  People connect with this idea because they have probably been in situations like the one depicted in the video. First Date wound up airing during the Super Bowl and despite the fact that this ad only cost about $25 to make, it was ranked the #7 best ad of the night on the USA Today ad meter poll.  It just goes to show you that good writing conquers all.

The man behind First Date is named Kyle Stafford and he plays “the guy” in the commercial.  It turns out that Kyle is a fan of VCN and he graciously agreed to answer some questions about his Crash the Super Bowl experiences.  And now, on with the interview:
VCN:  So Kyle, tell us about yourself.  Where are you from?  What do you do for a living?
KYLE:  I am from Northern California. A place called Rohnert Park, north of San Francisco. I graduated from UC Santa Barbara and came straight to LA to become a world famous writer/producer. Ten years later and I am now an Editor over at Warner Brothers. It’s actually not a bad gig, but I still write/produce on nights and weekends.. I am married and we have 2 sons. And they are actually all in this years CTSB commercial.
VCN:  Do you enter a lot of video contests?
KYLE:  This year will be out 4th year entering the Crash contest. Last year we actually made 3 commercials, 2 for Pepsi Max and 1 for Doritos. But besides this contest, we don’t really enter other contests.
VCN:  Do you remember why you entered the contest last year?
KYLE:  We actually were not going to enter last year, because we had entered the 2 previous years and thought we had pretty good entries and never got in, so we were all stubborn, like “screw it” we don’t need them.  Then we came to our senses and realized we did need them and we ended up making 3 spots. We actually thought a different entry was going to be the finalist. A spot called Pepsi Wedding, which you had in your Top 30 list. So when they called and said it was for First Date we were all kind of shocked.
VCN:  Tell us about how you created First Date.
KYLE:  A couple of friends and I have a comedy/skit website called, so we had been making content on and off together for about 2 years when we decided to enter the contest again. We hadn’t really put any thought into the commercials since we were not going to enter anything, but then when we decided to enter, we had almost no time, so we had to act quick. I got the idea in LA traffic, during an especially awful stretch on the 405. I just remember it making me laugh, so I called Nick Simotas and Robby Wells right away and told them the idea and they both laughed. Then I called my wife and she said there was no way we could say that during the Super Bowl. That’s when I knew we were going to make it. The ad cost about 25 dollars to make. We got the restaurant for free, got friends to be extras and shot the whole thing in about an hour. It isn’t the most complex commercial in the world, with no production audio and really only 3 camera angles. The 25 dollars was just to buy frozen dinners to put food on the plates as well as a pack of gum so the whole cast and crew could partake in a good chew. The actress opposite me is Julia Bellows, she is a super funny friend of ours that we have used in a bunch of our stuff.
VCN:  How and when did you find out that you made the 2011 finals?
KYLE: The people at Pepsi called us about 3 or 4 days before they posted the results…. The only reason they tell you in advance is to make sure you have all the correct actor/location releases and paperwork before they go through the process of making you a finalist. I was actually at work when they called, and we were not allowed to tell anyone until they posted, so I had to sit at work the rest of the day with this huge dopey grin on my face and I couldn’t tell anyone why.
VCN:  Did Pepsi Max ask you to keep the news to yourself?  How did your friends and family react when they heard the news?
KYLE:  Yeah, we were asked to keep the news under wraps until they posted the finalists. I think my friends and family thought I was kidding, most probably did until the second they saw it actually air during the game. Good thing my face was on it or nobody would have ever believed me.
VCN:  How was your trip to the Super Bowl?
KYLE:  Trip to the Super Bowl was amazing, we got to sit in a luxury box at the 40 yard line with catering and free booze. Dallas was freezing though, Pepsi had actually planned a bunch of cool events and parties to go to, but we had to cancel a good amount because it was really hard to get around, but we got to go to the Pepsi Jam concert thing with Kid Rock and Duran Duran. So the whole trip was pretty surreal, being whisked away to events and having VIP passes. Usually I am working catering at those things, so it was cool to sit back and enjoy it all.
VCN:  Your commercial wound up playing very late in the game.  How did it feel when it finally ran?
KYLE:  Yeah, they don’t tell you if you’re going to air until you see it on the TV, so every commercial break is pretty intense. They aired 5 of the 6 ads in the first quarter, so only one ad was going to air the rest of the game, so then we had to sit through every commercial break until about the middle of the 4th quarter. They actually ended up airing our ad on the Dallas Stadium jumbo-tron, which is the biggest jumbo-tron in the world I think, so my already giant head was spread out over a 60 yard TV. We actually thought at that point our ad was not going to air on TV, thinking the Jumbo-tron was a consolation prize or something. But then the time came and it aired and Nick and I freaked out and hugged, it was a pretty cool moment. I think Nick had a roll of quarters in his pocket.
VCN:  First Date did amazingly well on the ad meter.  In came in 7th.  Did you expect to rank so high?  Even though you didn’t “land in the money” were you happy with how your commercial performed?
KYLE:  The ad did a lot better then we thought it would. We didn’t expect it to rank so high, but I think in the sea of slick over-produced ads, I think we were kind of novel in that our ad was so insanely simple and true. The biggest thing we kept hearing was how true our ad was and I think people were laughing at the truth of the guy/girl thing. It’s funny, landing in the money was never even a thought for us, we just wanted it to air, then when we saw we came so close, you start thinking “Damn! We almost got like 400 grand.” and you start to get bummed, but then we shook ourselves and remembered we were at the Superbowl and had an ad that we created that just aired in front of 110 million people and we perked up. And Nick said he had a roll of dimes now.
VCN:  Were you surprised that Pepsi Max wasn’t part of the Crash the Super Bowl contest this year?
KYLE:  Yeah I was surprised, if you look back at last year, Pepsi had 2 of the top 7 ads on the Ad Meter. If you were a real ad agency and you could point to those kind of results they would be getting bonuses, but I am sure the people at Pepsi Max know a little more than I do about soda marketing, so I am sure they have their reasons.  But it sucks having the finalists basically cut into half. Makes it that much harder to win.
VCN:  How did making the CTSB finals change your life?
KYLE:  Being a finalist in CTSB was a super cool experience, but I wouldn’t say it has changed my life.  It is a really nice story to tell and legitimizes us a little with Hollywood producer types, but nobody is knocking down our door for all our content. I got recognized a little right afterward, a few people asked me if I was that guy on TV or I would be at the store and you would see someone staring at me like they knew me from somewhere but couldn’t quite figure out from where. I had a kid want a picture with me at the game. I told him “When you go back through these pictures you are gonna be like ‘Who the hell is this guy in my photo album?”
VCN: Did you enter the contest again this year? 
Yeah, we entered in again this year. I included my whole family in this year’s ad. You can tell we broke the bank again on this ad. This one actually didn’t cost anything:
Thanks for your site and good luck to all the entrants. Keep making stuff!!!!
VCN:  And thank you for your time.  Good Luck this year!

We want to see your Crash the Super Bowl entries!

Time's up!

Well D (for Doritos) is finally here.  Right now it’s 4PM on November 21st which means you only have eight hours left to submit your 2011 Crash the Super Bowl entries.   And then tomorrow the wait begins!  I get a lot of e-mails this time of year and usually people want to know when Doritos will contact the finalists.  The official rules state that Doritos will notify the finalists within 6 weeks.  But 6 weeks from today happens to be Monday, January 2nd.  During the last installment of The Crash, the finalists were announced on January 3rd.  I’ve talked to a number of past finalists and it seems like Doritos usually calls the winners (yes, they’ll actually call you if you make the top 5) just before Christmas.  But the contest did start a little later than usual this year so what the heck do I know.

Right now, there are already more than 1,500 submissions posted in CTSB gallery.  But when the orange dust settles I bet there will be close to 2,800 entries.  That’s a lot less than in year’s past but the lower number is probably because this year, the contest moderators have been doing a great job of keeping people from uploading multiple entries.  In past installments, it seemed like every 10th video was a repeat.  I guess people uploaded the same videos over and over because they weren’t sure if their submissions went though.

But 2,800 submissions is still a crazy amount.   And guess what?  This year I have made it my mission to watch every, single CTSB entry!  If you watched 2,800 thirty-second commercials in a row, it would take you 23.33 hours to get through them all.  But to be honest, I’m not watching every entry from start to finish.  In fact, I usually click the “next” button on most entries after about 10 seconds.  You see, my goal is to find all the submissions that have a good chance of making it to the Top 5.  So if an entry has major technical problems that I suspect will keep it out of the running, I skip it.  And after like 15 seconds if I’m not hooked I usually move on to the next video.

This method saves me a lot of time but it isn’t exactly thorough.  Sometimes I get in the zone and I skip past videos before I really give them a chance.  So readers, I need your help.  If you see a really awesome Crash the Super Bowl entry, let me know!  And yes, you can send me your own submission if you think it’s especially great.  In about two weeks I will post a list of all my favorite 2011 CTSB submissions.  How long will the list be?  I have no idea!  Instead of doing like a “Top 50″ I’m just going to link to every ad that I think is good enough to win….and maybe I’ll throw a few personal favorites in there as well.

So if you have a great entry you want to show me, click the comment button and post the link.  Or you can e-mail me at .  As always, I’m happy to do a mini-review of every ad you guys send me.  I’ll try and be gentle but I’ll also be honest.  Just a couple rules; please, don’t ask me to critique an entry that you didn’t help create.  Also, I can only do public critiques.  So if you want me to give you notes on your submission, post it in the comments section rather than e-mailing it to me.  And finally, Full Disclosure: I did shoot a CTSB entry of my own but I will try and be objective and fair….even though my entry is easily the best this year!

Good luck everybody.  If you get a call from Doritos saying that you made the finals, be sure to let me know!  Yea sure, that would probably get you disqualified but I totally promise to keep your secret…

When will the 2012 Crash the Super Bowl contest be announced?

It might still be early August but it’s already starting to feel a little bit like Fall.  Every year, as the summer starts to wind down I see a steady climb in traffic to this website and it can always be attributed to one thing; filmmakers looking for news about Doritos’ upcoming Crash the Super Bowl contest.  I can even tell what search terms readers put into google to get here and already I’m seeing lots of “keyword phrases” like:  will doritos do crash the superbowl 2012, doritos superbowl contest, super bowl commercial contest 2012 and crash the superbowl XLVI. And those are just from the last 12 hours!

So video contest filmmakers are certainly ready to “Crash” the Super Bowl.  But is Fritolay?  Will the contest even be brought back for 2012?  The answer is YES.  I have confirmation that the CTSB contest will be run again for the 2011/2012 season.  In fact, Fritolay and Pepsico have been planning for this installment since before the last Crash was even finished.  Here’s a little blurb about the 2012 contest from an article that ran in USA Today right after Super Bowl 35 in February.  The story was about how some companies were trying to get extra mileage out of their Super Bowl ads by releasing them online before the big game:

The brands are “rethinking” the Crash the Super Bowl promo for the 2012 game in a way that will involve more social media, says Rudy Wilson, marketing vice president at Frito-Lay.

Really it’s no surprise that Doritos would bring the contest back for 2012 since the last installment was such a big hit.  But the “social media” stuff worries me a bit.  I hope to God it doesn’t mean people will be voting for entries on facebook!

So now that you know the Crash is on for sure, the new question is, when can you start filming?  Well, not for a few more weeks.  The full details of the contest should be announced in mid-September and the submission period will probably begin about 2 weeks later and run until early November  Oh but there is one detail I can mention.  From what I have read, it looks like once again the Crash will have two categories and you can shoot an ad for Doritos And/or an ad for a Pepsi product. (I suspect it will be Pepsi Max again.)

If you’ve stumbled across this website while looking for details about this year’s CTSB contest, be sure to bookmark us and check back often for updates. is the ONLY site on the web that actively covers the Crash as it unfolds.  Also, if you’re too anxious to wait to get to work, maybe you should check out the details of Chevy’s new consumer-generated Super Bowl commercial contest: 

9/7/2011 UPDATE: Yesterday the NFL announced the details of some of the long term deals they had struck with advertisers. And they confirmed that Fritolay will once again be running the crash the Super Bowl contest this year. So you can expect the contest to be officially announced very soon! Here’s the full (but brief) story:

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