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Posts Tagged ‘winners’

Doritos announces 24 (surprisingly offensive) Crash the Super Bowl semi-finalists


A typical Doritos fan

I had really high hopes for this year’s Crash the Super Bowl contest.  FritoLay had made a lot of nice changes to the competition and for the first time ever, filmmakers from outside of the US were allowed to submit entries.  I thought all that new talent would yield a fresh and fun slate of winners.  But this afternoon Doritos unveiled a set of 24 Semi-Finalists and most of the ads they picked are pretty terrible.  A lot of them lack punchlines or decent stories and many are just or .  I can look past ads that are simply lame or unoriginal but some of the winners are downright, straight-up offensive.  A few of them are so inappropriate that they could never in a million years air during the new, family-friendly Super Bowl.  But what’s really shocking is just how misogynistic many of these ads are.  As you watch these videos, keep in mind that views and votes had zero impact on which entries made the Top 24.  A panel of judges from FrioLay and the ad agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, picked all of these commercials by themselves.  Let’s start with a semi-finalist from Israel that would never, ever get approved by American censors:

Ha Ha.  That guy’s girlfriend is a slut!  His best friend is also a bastard but the best friend gets forgiven because hey, (imaginary) boys will be boys.  I wonder if that guy is going forgive his girlfriend too?  Eh…doesn’t matter.  That girl was nothing but a prop for the men to fight over.  She hold less value than a $2.50 bag of chips.

But the sexist subtext isn’t even the worst thing about this video.  The whole point of the Crash the Super Bowl contest is to find commercials that could air during the SUPER BOWL.  There’s absolutely zero chance that CBS would ever broadcast a commercial that included the word “bastard,” a post-make-out zipper sound effect or a totally unnecessary up-skirt panty shot of a floating girl.  FritoLay received more than 4,000 Crash the Super Bowl entries this year.  Couldn’t they find 24 ads that could make it past the censors?

Now if you thought that was too hot for TV, check out this semi-finalist from Australia:

Personally I like this one.  It’s freaky but it’s freaky in a good way.  It looked professional, it was clever, it was unique and it had a big, insane punchline.  This video is so crazy that it actually went viral BEFORE it even made the top 24.  A few days ago it got posted on a ton of popular sites and now it has more than a million views.

But let’s be serious here.  That commercial was about a glory hole for fingers!  Can you imagine what would happen if millions of Americans saw that during the Super Bowl?  If Janet Jackson’s nipple could cause people to freak out, a fat dude sucking a phallic finger through a hole in the wall might break the 7th seal and usher in the beginning of the end times.

But like I said, at least that one is funny.  This Canadian semi-finalist features a punchline that only a serial killer could love:

I’m not going to mince words.  That’s some fucked up shit right there.  I like dark humor and if this idea had been executed a little differently it could have been a great submission.  It’s an extremely well made video and the editing is perfect.  But there are a few little elements that just make my skin crawl.  The actress was amazing and her eyes were filled with so much love and sweetness.  And then he main character murders her.  But here’s the worst thing about this entry; why is the dead mermaid so sexy!?  Was the under-boob and cheesecake pose really necessary??  I know that she’s a mermaid and not a human and I know it’s just a wacky commercial but for christssakes….a guy killed a beautiful woman and hung her half naked body on the wall.  She is literally his “trophy.”  This one will never air on TV but if it did, I think women across the country would (rightfully) raise hell over that “joke.”

Here’s another semi-finalist that’s weirdly misogynistic.  This one’s also from Canada:

I guess that did kind of feel like a Super Bowl commercial….from 1985.  I enjoy seeing sexy ladies in super tiny bikinis as much as the next guy but sexist commercials like this one have been out of style for at least 20 years.  Like I keep saying, I know these are just goofy contest entries but it’s just not cool to show a man pushing over a scantily clad woman so he can steal her Doritos.  Violence against women, even cartoony violence, doesn’t belong in a chip commercial.  Yes the Kate Upton look-a-like gets her revenge in the end but that doesn’t make this concept ok.  It’s not funny, it’s not original and it’s not appropriate.

I don’t know if Doritos had a few, undercover women-haters on their judging panel this year or what but here’s another semi-finalist that’s based on the idea that men love Doritos more than pretty ladies.  This entry comes from Hong Kong.

That video might seem harmless but go back and watch the beginning again.  WHAT THE HELL WAS ABOUT TO HAPPEN TO THAT POOR GIRL!?  She was on the ground screaming in a dark ally while three giant thugs were surrounding her.  She looked terrified.  Either those guys were going to steal her bag of Doritos or they were about to freaking gang-rape that girl.  Look at their eyes.  They didn’t look like they were after her chips.

Believe it or not, I’ve got one more semi-finalist that portrays women as worthless and disposable. But this one’s a two-fer because it also manages to mock an entire religion:

I hate to use the same joke twice in one article but seriously, this feels like a Super Bowl commercial from 1985.  The “hot girl” character looked like she was supposed to be a prostitute.  Who goes to the mall wearing a tiny, skin tight, hot pink dress, 6 inch heels and a ton of make up?  And it always kind of bugs me when writers make jokes about the Amish.  Whenever a filmmaker needs a character that doesn’t understand something that’s common in the modern world, you can just make that character Amish!  It’s just lazy writing.  But this particular ad takes things a step further.  These Amish aren’t just clueless rubes.  The dad is a dirty old man who lusts after a hot young woman that’s wearing an incomprehensibly sexy dress.  That just feels wrong, doesn’t it?  Do you think the judges at FritoLay would have picked this ad if it featured a strict Muslim family that had never been to a mall before?  Why are the Amish the only religious group that it’s ok to make fun of?  (Is it because everyone knows they’ll never see the jokes on TV or online??)

Or consider this; would the judges have picked this ad if the gender roles were reversed?  What if a hunky dude got off the elevator and “Ma” pushed Pa in there?

I know that it probably seems like I’m over-analyzing these ads but keep this in mind; 2 of these 24 semi-finalists are going to air during the Super Bowl in February and they’ll be seen by 110 million Americans.  So the messages and subtext of these commercials are important.  Most of the advertising world got the message a long time ago that goofy sexism is still sexism and that it’s not ok.  I can’t really blame the “average joes” who made these ads but I can blame FritoLay for picking some of these commercials.  The Crash the Super Bowl contest is being run by some of the smartest and most successful marketing gurus in the world.  They should have known that dead mermaid tits don’t belong on TV.



The Crash the Super Bowl deadline is here. Time to tweet me your entries!


It’s 5:30PM (CST) on Sunday, November 24th.  For weeks and weeks I’ve been trying to come up with a funny (and cheap) idea for the Crash the Super Bowl contest.  About 5 minutes ago I finally had a flash of inspiration.  A funny, weird and affordable idea for a Doritos commercial just popped in to my head and it’s so simple and goofy it might actually have a shot at winning this contest.

Too bad the Crash the Super Bowl deadline is 6 1/2 hours away.  If I had just 3 extra days I could have shot my new, super hilarious idea.  Oh well….I guess maybe I can be the first person to submit an entry next year!

Based on the gigantic spike in traffic VCN has seen in the last few days it looks like a lot of you guys did manage to shoot and submit Doritos commercials this year.  If you did enter the CTSB contest, I want to see your work!  Every year I invite VCN fans to share their links in the comment section of my end-of-the-crash post.  I even offer to write mini-reviews of every ad that is posted.

But this year I’m going to do things a little differently.  If you’d like to get some extra views or votes, you’re welcome to post your link in the comment section below.  BUT…this year I’ll only be doing reviews on Twitter.  Last year I wrote reviews for more than 100 fan-made ads.  I crafted some pretty beefy reviews and it took up a crazy amount of time.  So the Twitter reviews will force me to keep my thoughts to 140 characters or less.  (though if I have something crucial to say I might cheat and reply twice.)  So if you’d like a review this year, here’s what you do:

  • Step 1:  If you don’t already, follow me on Twitter: 
  • Step 2:  Tweet me your link.  Your tweet has got to be public though.  I can’t do any reviews via DM.
  • Step 3:  Be patient!  It might take me a day or two to check out your video.
  • Step 4:  Don’t get pissed at me if I don’t like your video!  I only have 140 characters so I’m not going to sugarcoat my thoughts.  I’m not going to act like a jerk or anything but if your actors weren’t good or if your story made no sense or if your ad just isn’t good enough to air on TV, I’m going to say so.  Please don’t take my comments personally.  I’m just giving you my objective opinion.

Having said that, I hope I see a lot of awesome videos this year.  In a few weeks I will go though my tweets again and I’ll post my Top 5 favorite submitted Crash the Super Bowl ads.  So start sending those entries everybody!  Don’t forget to follow me before you tweet at me.  I promise I’ll follow you back-sies.   And like I said, if you want to post a link to your video in the comment section below, go for it.  If you do post your link here, I’ll reply with a link to my twitter review.  Oh wait….now that I think about it, I suppose not everyone in the world has a twitter account.  So you non-twitterers can just leave a comment and ask for a review on the blog.  Good luck everybody!


B&H’s “That’s Not What it’s Meant for” winners



I like B&H.  I’ve sent them a lot of money over the years and they always sell good gear at fair prices.  I also think it’s kind of cute that their website is down half the time in observance of Jewish holidays.  And I’m not being sarcastic.  It always bothers me when religious folks try and come up with elaborate schemes to get around the rules of their own religion.  For example, did you know that Amish workmen can use power tools?  It’s only a sin if they actually buy the power tools and own them.  The same thing goes for cars and cell phones etc.  I myself was raised Catholic and let me tell you, the only thing Catholics love more than making up rules is figuring out ways to get around those rules.  Recently a Catholic friend of mine said that some day she wants to have a spring wedding a few weeks before Easter.  Technically it will be Lent then but for the right price you can hire a Catholic priest to show up and give everyone a one-night “dispensation” so that they can eat meat at the reception.

So anyway, if you’re going to be religious, you should go big or go home.  If you think that God doesn’t want you to work on the Sabbath then you shouldn’t hire people to work on the Sabbath for you.  Whoever is running B&H photography takes that kind of stuff seriously.  Their website shuts down every Friday and right now they’re not taking any orders for the next 50 hours because they’re observing a Jewish holiday known as Succos.  That might not be the greatest business move but I can respect B&H is doing.  They’re like the Walter Sobchack of the electronics world.  Walter doesn’t roll on Shabbos and B&H won’t sell you a lens during Succos.

So as a tip of my secular hat to B&H I thought I’d share the winners of their “That’s Not What it’s Meant for!” video contest.  This was actually one of the most clever contest ideas of 2013.  Filmmakers were asked to submit videos of photo and video gear being used in idiotic ways.  I watched a lot of the entries and some people really came up with some ridiculous/dangerous stuff.  My personal favorite was the guy who used his boom pole and wind muff to dust the top of his shelves.

B&H selected a set of 10 finalists and then let the public pick the winners.  Here are the top 3 videos, in order.  First prize was a Canon 6D or a Nikon D600, second prize was a Canon Rebel SL1 or a Sony Alpha Nex 5R and third prize was a Canon Powershot or a Nikon Coolpix.


The Crash the Super Bowl contest is back and this year it’s going global!


Later this afternoon, Frito-Lay will officially announce the return of the Crash the Super Bowl contest!  This morning’s edition of the USA Today teased some of the details but a few other news outlets got lazy and just straight-up posted Frito-Lay’s full press release early.  It sounds like the people in charge of this contest actually listened to their fans (and maybe this blog) because they’ve made some phenomenal changes this year.  You can read the official press release here but I’ll list the most important details:

  • The contest will begin accepting fan-made Doritos commercials on October 8th, 2013.  The deadline for submissions is November 24th, 2013.
  • FACEBOOK IS NOT A PART OF THE CONTEST THIS YEAR:  Last year Frito-Lay ran the entire Crash the Super Bowl contest through an annoying and poorly-designed Facebook app.  This year the Crash is back where it belongs on it’s own, dedicated website.
  • A panel of judges that includes “executives from the Doritos brand, advertising professionals and the legendary Stan Lee of Pow! Entertainment” will select a slate of 5 finalists.
  • Two of these finalists will air during the Super Bowl XLVIII.  One will be selected by a panel of judges from Doritos and the other will be chosen through an online, public vote.
  • THE AD METER CONTEST HAS BEEN RETIRED:  For the first time ever, the winner of the Crash the Super Bowl contest is guaranteed to win a cash prize of One Million Dollars!  If you win the online vote, you “win” the Crash the Super Bowl contest and you get the million bucks.  There will be no bonuses for scoring well on the USA Today Ad Meter.  Also for the first time ever, the second place winner is guaranteed a prize of $50,000.
  • The two filmmakers that win 1st and 2nd place will also get the chance to “become part of the Marvel family” and work on the set of Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.
  • All five finalists will win a trip to fabulous Rutherford, New Jersey in February so they can watch the Super Bowl from Doritos’ private skybox.  The three finalists who do not win one of the big prizes will receive $25,000 just for making the top 5.
  • THE CRASH ISN’T JUST FOR AMERICANS ANYMORE:  This might be the biggest change of all.  For the first time in the history of the Crash the Super Bowl contest, Doritos will be accepting entries from filmmakers outside of the United States.  If you live in one of the 46 countries around the world where Doritos are sold, you are eligible to enter the 2013-2014 installment of the Crash the Super Bowl contest.

Some fans are probably going to be annoyed by the “global” angle of this year’s contest simply because it means there will be more competition.  But the Crash was getting stale and I think an international infusion of styles and talent is just want this competition needs right now.  It will be sort of cool to see what kind of ads people in Romania and Peru and South Africa create.  No word yet on whether or not submissions will need to be in English.

All in all, I think this is going to maybe be the best Crash Super Bowl contest ever.  Last year’s installment was sort of a disaster for two big reasons; #1: The CTSB Facebook app was an ugly, spammy, hassle.  #2:  The winners of the contest got robbed because of changes USA Today made to their ad meter.  You can read about these problems in detail in these two VCN articles;  Did a poorly-designed facebook app almost ruin this year’s crash the super bowl contest? and Why didn’t Doritos’ Crash the Super Bowl ads do better on this year’s USA Today Ad meter?  But basically, the facebook app tracked user’s data and clogged their friend’s feeds with updates every time they voted for an entry.  And USA Today turned their highly-respected, long running Ad Meter poll into a bogus, online-only poll that anyone could access.  One of the 2013 CTSB winners, Goat 4 Sale actually won 1st place on Nielson’s ad meter but the commercial didn’t crack USA Today’s top five.  The ads that did score high on the USA Today poll mostly sucked and it seemed like maybe certain companies took some steps (cheated) to make sure their commercials would do well in the poll.  If the USA Today ad meter had been run the way it had been run for decades, the director of Goat 4 Sale probably would have won one of Frito-Lay’s big bonus prizes.

But apparently those problems are in the past.  I’m genuinely impressed that the folks in charge of this contest recognized that certain aspects were unfair to contestants and then to action to fix those issues.  Doritos got a massive amount of free, social media exposure when they ran the contest on facebook last year.  So it must have been tough for them to move the contest back to a dedicated website.  I also think it was a stroke of genius to involve Stan Lee in this year’s Crash.  Last year’s celebrity judge was Michael Bay.  Let’s be honest, Michael Bay f*cking sucks.  Nobody likes Michael Bay and his movies are total garbage.  One of the 2013 winners actually won a job working on the set of Transformers 4.  It was a great opportunity but I sort of feel sorry for that guy because he’s probably spent the last 5 months sucking up to Michael Bay and pretending like he’s proud to bring another Transformers movie into the world.  But Stan Lee is different.  Stan Lee is an icon.  People freaking love Stan Lee and the Marvel movies have all been pretty great.  So a chance to “join the Marvel family” is a seriously awesome prize.

Frito-Lay’s official announcement will probably happen around noon EST today.  I’ll update this post with a link to coverage of the announcement when it’s available.  In the mean time, here’s a link to the new Crash the Super Bowl website:  The rules aren’t live yet but a teaser video is already up: 


Bridgestone’s (surprisingly good) “Teens Drive Smart” winners

I don’t usually post the winners of “teen” video contest because as you’d expect, all the entries are shot by goofy kids and the winning videos are pretty much guaranteed to suck.  But all of the winners of Bridgestone’s “2013 Teens Drive Smart” contest are actually kind of great.  For this contest, teens were supposed to create short films about the importance of Safe driving.  The top winners will all receive scholarships to the schools of their choice.

Bridgestone wound up getting more than 1,000 entries for this contest.  A public vote determined a set of 10 finalists and then a panel of judges selected the winners.  After the voting ended, Bridgestone awarded the grand prize to a young lady named Nicole Ricketts.  Her bio says she’s currently perusing a degree in Business Administration.  And that’s a damn shame because this girl is a natural born filmmaker.  Her video is beautifully shot and perfectly edited.  This ad alone could probably get her accepted by pretty much any film school in the country.  So hopefully she’ll take her scholarship money and transfer to UCLA, ASAP.

First Place Winner.  Prize:  $25,000 scholarship:

Bridgestone stays there’s a chance they may actually air that video as a PSA so you might actually see it on TV some day.  I was kind of surprised to hear that the finalists in this contest were picked through a public vote because all of the other winners are pretty good too.  I was particularly impressed by the writing and the effects in the video that won 3rd place:
Third Place Winner.  Prize:  $10,000 Scholarship:

If you’re a big fan of teen-made short films about safe driving habits, you can head here to watch the rest of Bridgestone’s Top 10.

[email protected] winners


If I could sneak into the Library of Congress with some kind of magic liberty pen and scribble one legally binding amendment on the bottom of the constitution, it would probably be this:  “No Person shall be elected to the House of Representatives more than three times and no person shall be elected to the Senate more than two times.  The term for a member of the House is hereby expanded from two years to four years.”

You stick that amendment into the constitution and this country would become a very different place.  One reason it’s so hard to make any progress in Washington is because too many politicians are worried about protecting their jobs-for-life.  A member of congress can never stop running for office since because they have to face a primary and an election every two years.  Maybe that made sense back in 1787 when life moved a lot slower but two-year terms are just causing chaos in 2013.  I’ve had this term-limits/expanded term compromise stuck in my head for years and I was actually able to put it to use recently.  I have a singer/songwriter friend named Anna and together we created a term limit-themed entry for the [email protected] video contest.  Challenge Post just announced the winners and the judges gave our little video a $5,000 Honorable Mention prize!  Here it is.

Honorable Mention.  Prize:  $5,000:

Anna did most of the hard work of course but I hung the giant American flag so I’m calling this a team effort.  I shot that video with my new Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens and I’m really happy with the results.  Because the lens is so fast, I basically just opened up some windows and put up a single light to fill in some of the shadows.  I was also able to set my ISO at 100 which means the image is sharp and grain-free.  So be sure to watch that video in HD for the full effect.

The [email protected] contest was actually pretty huge.  In total they received more than 400 entries and there were $100,000 in prizes.  There were 7 honorable mention awards worth $5,000 each.  First place was good for $25,000, 2nd was $20,000 and 3rd was $15,000.  All the entries had to explore a topic related to democracy in America.  Here’s the video that won the grand prize:

Grand Prize Winner.  Prize:  $25,000:

If you feel like over-loading on democracy-themed contest videos, you can see the rest of the winners here.

What does the good side of the Internet look like?

Trend Micro is a company that makes men’s razors specializes in keeping people and data safe on the Internet.  For the last four years they’ve been holding their annual “What’s Your Story” video contest and the 2013 winners were just announced.  In the past, this competition focused on topics like cyber-bullying and the abuse of new technology.  But this year Trend Micro asked contestants to answer just one question:  What does the good side of the Internet look like?  I tried to enter this one but they didn’t accept my video…probably because I didn’t actually create it.  I just sent them a link to this video.  I think it demonstrates the good side of the Internet better than I ever could.

A panel of Shark Cat hating judges picked the winners and to be frank, they’re kinda dull so I’m not going to post them.  After I saw the videos that won I decided not to cover the results of this contest but then I realized it would be a good excuse to post that funny cat/dog/duck/roomba video.  So here we are.

The two grand prize winners each won $10,000 and a few runners up each got $1,000.  If you want to see them head here:  http://whatsyourstory.trendmicro.com/winners  Or if you’d like to see the “Good Side of the Internet” video I almost posted instead of the Shark Cat video, .


OVC’s tips for being a video contest winner

Sorry the blog has been kind of quiet lately.  I started a new job as an editor this month and I’ve been working like crazy.  (I’ve only had time to watch 4 episodes of the new season of Arrested Development!)  I had to learn Final Cut Pro X really quickly and my brain no think good right now.  So VCN will be a little sparse and sloppy for a while.  But my schedule and my mind should be back to normal soon enough.  In the meantime, I’m just going to share some content that someone else put a lot of work in to.  Each week the folks at my favorite website, Onlinevideocontests.com post a video that lists new and notable video contests.  In a recent special episode they outlined several tips for filmmakers who want to start winning video contests.  Their advice is great and the video is well worth 2:14 of your time.


If you’d like to subscribe to OVC’s youtube channel, .


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