Snack Strong Hall of Fame

Hey Crashers,
I’m posting the links to the last ten finalists in Doritos Crash The Superbowl commercial contest. I wish we had assembled our peer review community before producing our commercials this year. In this way, we could have had one more tool to use preparatory to embarking on our pre-production.

With every brand comes a unique tradition of branding. Your execution of the ‘branding assignment’ dictates whether or not your commercial will be used. I have heard many comments in the gallery about how this spot is better than that spot etc. etc.. Look people, it is not always about the spot you like the most, or the one you feel is ‘funniest ‘.

What is very often lost on the video submitter to this contest is the need to ‘brand’. I have seen commercials here that could run on any given night as a slick Saturday Night Live bit, but would never work as a Doritos commercial. These brands are highly sensitive to the reactions of their paying customers. It is why you often see awful commercials on TV. They are not meant to ‘entertain’ everyone. They are meant primarily to ‘compel the target demographic ‘. If you find yourself really disliking a particular personal healthcare commercial it may be the result of not being old enough to appreciate hemorrhoid cream.

For Doritos the target demographic is the 16-24 age range. Aside from the requisite branding nuances, the entertainment (humor) must appeal to that age range. It is why last years Herbert Brother’s, smashing of the office vending machine glass and whacking the testicle sack of the boss worked so well.

I want to talk about the Herbert Brother’s spot a little bit more. Not only is the breaking of the glass and the nut sack hit comedy gold, but let’s see why it was strong enough to beat all SuperBowl commercials and get the number one ranking. Remember, the USA Today ad meter joysticks were in the hands of people outside the 16-24 demographic. Why did this spot win EVERYTHING?

When the smartly dressed, apparently obedient employee loses it, and smashes the glass of the vending machine, it is a release of the rage against the machine. This rage/oppression is something ‘everyone’ can relate to….not just 16-24 year olds. When the boss get’s hit in the family jewels it is funny for the 16-24 year olds coz they just love that stuff no matter who is getting whacked. The reason why it worked for the rest of the USA Today pollsters, is because it was ‘the boss‘ getting whacked. If you think these elements where just a fortunate accident, then you don’t know the Herbert Brothers. The Herbert Brothers effectively hit 6 or 7 birds with one stone….er…snow globe.

Okay I’m almost done. Check out these ten commercials, analyze them, pick them apart. Try to identify not only why they hit the target demographic, but also why they appealed to the 35 year old Doritos judge, coz this is what will get you into the top 20 or 30 that will allow you to even have a chance at getting your spot tested by the market panels that Doritos will put these in front of. Doritos knows that these spots have to have a wider appeal than just their own demographic if they want to beat all of the other SuperBowl competition, and they are going to try to do it. By virtue of the 2009 superbowl results, they have set their own bar insanely high. Now I hope you understand some of the thought process that went into the VCK’s ‘best of‘ list.

Without further ado, here are the the top ten finalists to date for the CTSB. Enjoy them, they represent the best of your peer group.

NOTE: The top five commercials have aired during the SuperBowl. All ten aired nationally. Their USA Today Ad Meter ranking, and producer info is included in the caption. If anyone is curious to see how all of the spots measure up during any given SuperBowl year, HIT THIS LINK.

"Free Doritos" - SuperBowl 2009 USA Today Ad Meter rated #1 (Produced by the HERBERT BROTHERS)

"Live The Flavor" - SuperBowl 2007 USA Today Ad meter rated #4 (Produced by FIVE POINT PRODUCTIONS)

"Mousetrap" - Superbowl 2008 USA Today rated #4 (Produced by Billy Federighi and Brett Snyder - The Gentlemen)

"Power of the Crunch" - SuperBowl 2009 USA Today Ad Meter rated #4 (Produced by the Eric Heimbold)

"Checkout Girl" Superbowl 2007 USA Today poll ranked #34 (Produced by Kristin Dehnert)

"The Chase" 2009 Crash The SuperBowl finalist. (Produced by Chris Roberts)

"Duct Tape" 2007 Crash The SuperBowl Finalist (Produced by The Herbert Brothers)

"New Flavor Pitch" 2009 Crash The Superbowl Finalist (Produced by Front Page Films)

Image from Too Delicious

"Too Delicious" 2009 Crash The Superbowl Finalist (Produced by Dandy Dwarves)

"A Chip Lover's Dream" 2007 Crash The Superbowl Finalist (Produced by Jared Cicon)


7 responses to “Snack Strong Hall of Fame

  1. Friend of discoverer

    curious on your critiques of 5099 video …

    • If I may chime in, this spot is funny but to be blunt, doritos could never, ever put it on TV. One reason is that it features a huge banner for the “Hollywood Gym.” The actor walks right in front of the banner so it would be nearly impossible to blur it out and not make it look weird. But the spot also has another problem; it’s very violent. Did you use a real stuntman for the skate park fall and the car accident? It looks like you just had your actor fall down and get hit and hope that he would be ok. If those kind of stunts were done in a “real” commercial, no one would think twice. But because the spot was filmed by non-pros, there were probably no safety precautions taken. If Doritos picked this video for the finals, they would receive tons of copy cat entries next year since people would assume that to win, you would have to show someone getting hurt. Even worse, imagine if the day after the superbowl some kids went out with their video camera and tried to do the same thing. It’d be lawsuit time for sure.

    • Hi Friend of discoverer,
      The reason we have Hollywood is because the ‘real’ thing is just not acceptable and far too dangerous. I have to concur with Dan here.

      I could see this really appealing in a big way the the fans of Jackass (MTV – Johnny Knoxville). Problem is, 90% of the target demographic really doesn’t think that stapling a tongue or ‘really’ getting hit my a car is appealing, much less ‘appetizing’.

      Sorry, but your attempt to be totally off the hook ‘random’, only succeeded in being disturbing.

      But hey, the next time I punish a minion, and sentence him to the rack, I will instead order him to an internship with your production company.

      The VCK

  2. Hi J,

    As per Dorito’s forum you mentioned to throw our videos at you for critique. I’m always open to good constructive evaluation. FIRE WITH ALL YOUR GUNS I WILL SURVIVE! Best to you!

    • Hey Robert,
      In Hollywood, a journeyman artist is lucky if they ever become really, truly, proficient at any one thing. Often, the wannabbees that flock to Hollywood by and large aren’t very good at anything really, but sadly lack the objectivity to recognize it.

      The most impressive part of your bit was your body paint. I am serious when I say, there is probably some up-and-coming production company who can really use your make-up skills.

      CON: Also in Hollywood, are thousands of creatives who believe they can perform all of the tasks of production themselves and to the degree necessary to reach ‘THE BAR’. About 99.99% of those artists are flat out wrong.

      Robert, you need help.

      You needed help in casting. You needed help in lighting. You needed help in shooting, editing, writing and all of the other ings elements required of a national quality television commercial. I am taking the time here to offer my opinion, not only because you asked for it, but because you also had the one thing that most artists don’t have….humility. I sensed you asked in sincerity and would embrace a potentially tough critique. This is admirable. It is a requisite attribute for success. It means you would probably be a good team member in the right production company. This is actually a valuable attribute that is regularly in short supply in Hollywood.

      If you insist on being a director/producer autere, you need to start doing your homework on production essentials and practice them often. Create as many short films as your time permits and hone your skills. Who knows, maybe one day, the VCK will be sitting front row at Sundance waiting to give Robert a big corn-fed hug after the unveiling of your feature premier.

      In the meantime, shop the skills you know you have. I think you could get your feet wet and make connections in the industry as a make-up artist.

      My court jester has been looking a little lack-luster lately. Maybe I’ll refer him to you.

      The VCK

  3. Hey VCK.

    I sent you the link for my first spot and i appreciated your review on that. Good stuff. I entered a second idea, and I’d love to know what you thought about it. I did a fair amount of strategizing with this one after watching all the top vids from not only doritos, but also from other Ad meter top picks and ultimately came up with this. I’ve got my own critiques of my work, but I’d love to hear if yours match up with mine.

    Here is the main idea:

    and the subsequent isolated vignettes (the main idea cut in three separate ways) are
    # 3559
    # 3510
    # 3516

    • Hey Chris,
      Firstly, you are wonderfully capable in the execution of many necessary production values. Lighting was great. Camera work….worked. The black dude was your best actor but it digressed from there with the ‘cat-sitter’ being your least capable talent.

      I think that if the story was stronger, some of the lingering sight gags (acting clips) wouldn’t have been so painful.

      This is a case where clearly you have about :15 of content spread out over the :30 format. The version that has triple-split screen is very difficult to watch. There is no way that version would fly nationally or regionally, let alone on the Superbowl.

      Chris…..#1 rule of film-making,,,,CONTENT IS KING. You need to write the perfect script and then storyboard your images (create a shooting schedule) and determine if you have enough quality content to fit the :30 format.

      The 25-35/:30 rule should def. be utilized where applicable. This means there should be 25-35 clips in the average :30 commercial. Yes, there are exceptions to this but the rule is more commonplace than the exception. There is a reason for this in todays short attention span culture.

      You have in your toolbox many attributes that 80% of the creators to this contest will never have. You need to polish up (refine) your concepts and become part of a (start to create your own) peer circle where your ideas can be reviewed and critiqued at every major juncture of production, from concept to final cut.

      The VCK

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