TOP TEN Doritos vids (The VCK’s Pix)

Here we go people. The list is out. The VCK Royal Court has spoken. By official VCK decree, these ten videos have the best chance of making it to Doritos final 6. If any of you wish to find out why a certain video didn’t make the final cut, leave a comment and the VCK will provide a review.

Please be aware that the list order does not reflect a ranking or preference.

A ‘Heads up‘: Hey everyone. I changed the site settings. Moving forward, in order to leave a comment I need you to subscribe to the blog. In this way you will receive notification when I post new content. To subscribe, hit the orange RSS button over to the right of this post where it says ‘SUBSCRIBE’.
Thanks.

NOTE:ย Though I have produced a national commercial for Doritos in the past, I currently have no affiliation with the brand or their parent company, FitoLays. For the record the opinions expressed in this blog are mine alone.

Forget Everything Else‘…#3970 by JohnRamsey

Donโ€™t be that guy‘ …………#2530 by moedirty

Dave‘ ……………………………..#1738 by doritodave

Forensic Science‘ ………….#5513 by andrusso50

Doritos Please‘ ………………#1614 by Senor Queso

Rose Colored Doritos‘ …..#3824 by garyvader

Party Guests‘ …………………#1817 by christinea

Casket‘ ………………………….#3006 by ms

Doritos Friends‘ ……………#4208 by ChrisCordova

Fish Out Of Water‘…………#2777 by mfaverman

The Video Contest King wishes good luck to all of you in the VCK Top Ten list. I personally can attest to the opportunites that occur from being chosen as a finalist and am pleased to know that it will happen again this year to six deserving finalists. Whether or not any of you do in fact make it to the Doritos Final six is out of the realm of this kingdoms influence, however, all 25 creatives identified in the original semi-finalist round should be proud of their creative abilities. IMO all 25 could broadcast nationally and nail the 16yrs.-24yrs. Doritos customer demographic.

The VCK

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103 responses to “TOP TEN Doritos vids (The VCK’s Pix)

  1. Frank Huntington

    when does the final 6 list actually come out?

  2. Hi Jared,

    You left a comment on our website about video 4097 (Battlestations!) We really appreciated you taking the time and effort to track us down.

    We would love to have some in depth commentary on it. What would it have taken to be top 25 or even top 10 material in your point of view.

    Thanks

    • Hey Cory,
      Thanks for coming to the blog. First of all, let me qualify my Top Ten picks as ‘best guesses’. I imagine I will probably only have accurately picked three of the the top six in my Top Ten. I wouldn’t be surprised if Doritos picks three or four spots (that I did not) to round out the finalist bracket. So even though you are not in my personal picks, what matters most is What Doritos thinks.

      FYI: The drop dead date is on or around Dec. 17th. If you haven’t been notified by then, it’s pretty much over.
      BTW: Your spot was referred to by my C. Masten (Claremont, Ca). He was impressed by what you did and for good reason.

      You have a lot of good things going on here. The lighting and camera work are top notch. Looks like industry quality. The editing was perfect. The site gags took a lot of work/logistics. Your pre-production was very well planned. Here are some of your weaknesses as I see them.

      1. Story: The football players did notappear menacing at all. I think a CU of one of the faces with a legit sneer could have really helped this out. Sound Design: I did hear the one growl the editor placed to try and help out the clip but it wasn’t enough. I just wasn’t phased at all by the jocks. They needed to look hungrier/angrier.

      They should have been walking ‘by‘ the nerds and only upon hearing the word ‘Doritos’, do they pay the nerds any mind, dropping whatever water bottles and football gear they had in their hands, throw out the mouth pieces, etc. etc. Some of them should have already had their helmets off. Clearly the nerds were doing this project after or before the scheduled football practice, so the jocks would have been less organized.

      2. Character development: The main antagonist is the football players, yet you never made the audience ‘hate‘ or ‘fear‘ them, so when we start seeing all of the weapons of war unleashed on them, it really does very little in the way of emotion or humor.

      Also, you should have used golfing instead of the ping pong table bit. You could have had four nerds on the ground feeding the tees while four nerds standing with drivers keep whacking away at the golf balls. Everyone knows that ping pong balls don’t hurt, but golf balls do. You could have also used ‘speed’ in editing to make this work and even increase the humor if necessary.

      No problem with the shots of the the ping pong balls balls hitting the football players, you would not have had to re-shoot that. With the golf ball visual and different foley sound Design, it could have been really funny. Of course I still doubt I would feel the appropriate emotion towards the jocks without the proper character development.

      3. DP/Directing: I didn’t like that the first shot of the football players was with a camera POV close to the ground and shooting up at them. It def. gave the impression that the jocks were very close and peering down at the nerds assembling the Doritos. Next thing I know though, the Football players are four times as far away, and running in a straight line like they are going to defend a kick return. They should have been in a bunch/crowd (less organized). They also couldn’t act at all. They were way too stiff. Never really portrayed persons hell bent on getting some chips.

      4. Casting: The lead actor did not say “Nerd” to me. He was way too skilled and quick witted to be your average teckie nerd. Just something about the acting that seemed a little forced. I get the feeling that the cast was assembled of people all from the same school/area/community. Sorry but I would be surprised if you told me that any type of formal casting was executed.

      You crossed a lot of lines (cinematography) in the end.

      LAST THREE CLIPS:
      The Cheerleaders are standing at the northern position of the triangle (about the 15 yard line) design in the third to last clip. All of a sudden, in the 2nd to last clip, the camera angle is from behind them yet ‘they and the nerds‘ have disappeared from camera frame. When the third and last clip comes on, the cheerleaders have magically reappeared, and the viewer is supposed to buy that the cheerleader can see the whole chip design though she is not in the right position to do it. Lot’s of problems here.

      You may think these are not big issues, but they are. These problems would have been foreseen/identified with proper story boarding. You are giving the viewer ‘issues’ to deal, and in :30 seconds it is way too short a time span for a viewer to resolve issues yet still be entertained.

      Here’s the deal Cory. The bar is so incredibly high for Doritos content where the SuperBowl is concerned. It is higher yet than normal national quality. My own three spots didn’t even make the grade as far as I am concerned (2441, 831, 806).

      Hope this critique helps. I also hope to see you back on the blog. There is a lot of useful information here for the freelance creative. Remember, at the VCK we stab you in the front. This way it’s a lot easier to mend the wounds if you are serious about your creative.

      The VCK

      • Jared,

        Thanks for the insights. We basically agree on all points. While we had identified most of those as our problems, it is nice to have it laid out so cleanly.

        It was our first attempt at film making in general and commercials in particular…unless you count some high school projects for me and some college projects for my brother.

        And yes those are all my high school students (I teach math and science) and considering everything I think they did pretty good. Though both my brother and I ended up hating the initial football players shot… but too late to do much about it.

        We did storyboard everything out…but we had a lot going on in 30 secs (probably too much) and it was hard to gauge exactly how everything would look. In retrospect we probably should have had a lot more peer review before we shot it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Though we were still pretty happy with it all in all.

        Thanks again,

        Cory Poole

        • And nerds are quick witted!

          • Hey Cory,
            The thing is, you have strong handle on all of the often elusive P.V.’s so you have a 95% advantage over everyone else who is creating freelance content. The items you were weak on are an easy fix.
            1. Casting: Yes you did WAY better than most producers who relied on local acquaintances. In fact, had your football players not been a bunch of lumps on a log you might have even gotten away with your casting.
            2. You are right about peer review. Had you worked this idea through a circle of peers, it def. could have squeezed out more fluff. I don’t always do story boards, but if I had tackled your script I def. would have. Do you write down clip lengths on your boards to get a handle on the projected time line?

            Anyways, great work. You def. have nothing to be embarrassed for, and I regularly see stuff on television that isn’t even as good as yours.

            Happy Holidays.

            The VCK

            P.S. Yes nerds are quick witted but they are rarely as slick as your leading man. I almost would have preferred to see him as the main football player to deliver that angry sneer and then cast a more pathetic nerd …..one that we could truly feel sorry for. The nerd you cast just never going to get much sympathy from the viewer. Hope that makes sense.

  3. Hey there… the top ten you chose was quite good but I think you missed one that you may enjoy as well! #3999 “intense”

    • Hey Josh,
      Just checked out the spot. You are missing some of the fundamental elements of branding and including others that would never fly. There is a profound difference between making comedy to entertain, and making comedy to sell a product. When you pour the snack chip into the scrotal area of a disgusting, shirt stained couch potato and then proceed to portray him using a fire extinguisher to douse the spicy burn area, it is mildly funny, yes, but would never pass for branding a product that is supposed to make the viewer think “YUMMY”.

      You will probably appeal to a narrow demographic of ‘late teen – early twenty somethings‘ but will have succeeded in grossing out everyone else that Doritos wants to also sell the chips to.

      I have seen spots in the gallery that would make the 80’s & 90’s era SNL writers salivate (not yours), that still would not be effective ‘branding’ messages.

      Hope this makes sense.

      The VCK

  4. Hey, would you mind taking a look at ours and letting us know what you think? It’s number 5640. Thanks.

    • Hey Kyle,
      There’s a lot to like on this spot.
      1. Directing: I like that you didn’t insult the audience intelligence by being too obvious at first with the stealth action of the Ninja. I like the subtle background catwalk hints of impending conflict. That was great. (although I did not like the overly obvious blocking of the hand that came down from the top of frame and was basically in front of the leading man’s face forcing us to ‘buy’ that he couldn’t see it).

      2. Writing: Clever and original story. Nothing at a ll like it in the gallery (not that I’ve seen anyways). Acting was good. No problems there. I like the pecking order of thugs, where they both understood they were no match for ‘super mouse’. I do love the unspoken “Put the chips down and nobody gets hurt” message here. Again, giving the viewer the benefit of intelligence. Trust me, they appreciate being allowed to figure this stuff out on their own.

      3. Props/Lighting: Not sure why the bag needed internal lighting. It didn’t really detract too much, but it just might leave some viewers to expect something to happen that never does. Though I loved the cinematic look of the double ‘OPEN’ neons, I am really not sure why they were there, and honestly I kept thinking they were going to play into the story line somehow and never did.

      4. Sound Design: I didn’t like the ‘gong’ or ‘cymbal’ sound effect. I know you were trying to associate it with the ninja, but before the ninja happens, the cymbal audio occurs and it makes the viewer think you are announcing or introducing something in a theatrical sense. It would have been much more effective to hear a tin can or soda can SFX with some tunnel reverb (far off). This would not have diverted the viewer at all and actually would have helped move the story forward (added more suspense).

      5. Story Format: I cant’ help but feel this is about a 20 second story that was stretched over the :30 format. ONe of the indicators of this is the 14 clips. If you check out national commercials during prime-time on any given night, you will notice that there are between 25-35 clips in the :30 format (25-35/:30). In todays short attention span culture there is a reason for this. I am not saying that every commercial MUST follow this format, but is def. a reason why the format exists and I really feel your commercial is a good example. As a director I know I would have told this story in :15.

      Had the contest called for such a format, you could have also edited this down and had a very strong commercial.

      You have a wonderful sense of drama and can def. tell a story, but the judging bar is so high here, and it is why I am picking at everything. You should be proud of what you accomplished here. If I were you and I had shot this wonderful footage, I would take the time to edit a :15 version and include it as an impressive addition to your directors reel.

      The VCK.

  5. Hey Jared,

    This is a much needed blog. Its hard enough to find descent contests let alone worthwhile feedback (good, bad or indifferent). Appreciate it if you’d take a look at my spot 4965.

    Thanks,

    Greg

    • Hey Greg,
      Thanks for coming to the VCK. Hope the guards didn’t give you guys any trouble at the draw bridge. Lancelot is partial to blondes. Personally I like brunettes.

      Ok. Firstly please remember that I am not the sole arbiter of what is SuperBowl fare and what is not. These reviews are only one persons opinion,…..albeit the King of the kindom.

      Your spot was a nice quick :30. It didn’t linger like most did. There alone, you are better than 95% of the spots in the gallery. Of course 90% of the submissions are total garbage which means you are in the top 50% of only about 400 videos. Still, not bad.

      Your actress was very cute. She doesn’t come off as a seasoned actress though. That said, she does have an adorable quirky character that works for the story you wrote (good casting). She has a large upside should be decide to hone her skills and strengthen her natural ability to act.

      DP was good. Lighting was decent (a problem here and there I will get to). Editing was great.

      CON:
      1. Writing: The disease name was too contrived. This format is overdone so you needed to come up with a more clever disease name without basically spelling it out for the viewer or you needed to introduce the disease in a funnier way ( I would still change the actual name of the disease). Doritos needs something more original to pay $70,000.00 per second to broadcast it.

      2. Sight Gags: They were all mildly amusing, but not one of them makes the viewer laugh out loud. The closest action to make the viewer laugh was the ending “Did I mention flavor”, but sadly as a producer you didn’t recognize it’s superior strength relative to the others and failed to give it it’s due screen time. It was your strongest visual and you cut it off way to early.
      She needed to say the line and have the camera linger on her for a while. In her own quirky/seductive way she needed to flash her eye lashes at the lens and/or seductively CRUNCH another chip….or something, but she def. needed more screen time. Thing is, in this contest (or any for that matter), most producers get their cart before the horse and fail to finish their spots with the strongest material. Here, you did but then cut it off prematurely.

      3. Lighting: Your lighting was OK for the most part, but I was disappointed with the main product shot. When she is holding the Dorito bag front and center your lighting suffered. The white of the sky is actually brighter than the white in the Doritos print. The red Doritos color is listless. There is no snap. As a reference, check out my ‘A Dutch Treat’ spot (#806). Look at the lighting on the ‘bag shot’. Now yes, the action situation may not always permit (or call for), the perfect lighting on the bag, but when it does, you need to execute, and your spot def. called for it.

      4. Wardrobe/props/extras/location: The spot feels like you shot it all in one location. This contradicts your story line. She suggest that the disease afflicts her every waking moment in all she does. The shooting suggests she hangs out all day where she feeds the pigeons down by the waterfront. You needed to put her in at least three different locations. Minimally, you needed extras. When she is eating her Hoagie, there needed to be 2 or 3 extras in the background also eating, working on laptops etc.. They could have also been used to increase comedic value EG: The extras look at her strange during her antics.
      Props: When she is eating her Hoagie, you needed a real glass filled with beverage and something else on the table besides the plastic soda bottle. I needed to see a lap-top case and some other things that suggested she had an ‘identity’. This would help develop her character. Plastic soda Bottle: This prop looks suspiciously like a competing brand to Pepsi. I may be wrong but it looks like Coke Zero. Either way, you should have avoided this. Pepsi owns Doritos. These major soda companies are very sensitive to their brand. Because you turn the label out is not enough. If a bottle style and color is noticeable to them, they will shy away. You def. needed to execute more pre-production where the props were concerned.
      She should have had 3 different wardrobe changes. This would have provided a suggestion of an elapsing of time, which would have made the story more convincing.

      All of the above visual elements suggest strongly to the viewer that this commercial was conceived during lunch and shot over the same hour. Don’t get me wrong, if this is true, then you did an amazing job, but it will never qualify as SuperBowl content.

      I have faith that, if moving forward you commit to more sophisticated production values, that you will start to produce some killer content. Put the work/effort into it and it will show. All of your basic elements are there. You have a nice grasp and understanding of the process. Now go and improve.

      The VCK.

  6. Thanks Jared,

    You were spot on. I shot it in an afternoon with an insane sinus infection. I thought I had an extra week, not a weekend so the crew ended up being myself and the actress. I’d have fixed the lighting on her with a reflector and I had a silk…but no crew:( Anyway thanks for the feedback and i’ll take your advice to heart!

    Greg

    • Hey Greg,
      As I said earlier, you did a great job for a one day-er. And it def. smelled like you knew what you were doing which is why I wondered to myself why there were so many uncrossed T’s and undotted I’s. Your sinus infection and lack of crew def. explains it all.

      Good work man.
      VCK

  7. Hello,
    We’re a High School out of Lancaster, PA and we did commercial 1637 as a marketing project. We were wondering if you could give us some feedback! Thank you!

    • Hey Manheim,
      Thanks for coming to the kingdom. Isn’t there a synthesized orchestra group/artist by the name of Manheim Steamroller? Is that any connection to you guys?

      I grew up in NEPA (Scranton). God’s country. Love the white Christmas’. I’ve been here in So. Cal. for 23 years now and have gotten so soft (can’t stand the cold).

      Anyways, OK, on to the critique. I know how hard it is to direct/produce. You guys took on quite a large production here. Some of the stunt work was awesome. I loved the ‘clothes-line’ sight gag with the female security guard just before you rewind ….OUCH!!!.

      CON:
      1. The main problem here is the acting. If we could use our buddies and win oscars…Hollywood would never have come to be.
      – When the one streaker comes close to the camera (facing the camera) it is clear he is camera conscious.
      – When the streaking group first comes out and are running in the direction of the camera, again they appear to be playing to the camera instead of being in character as natural streakers.
      – The take down just before the nice clothesline was too ‘staged’. I mean, there was no fight in the streaker after he is on the ground, and the landing was way too soft.
      – In the end just after the four girls deliver the line in unison, the one brunette quickly looks to her left in a classic “Did I say the line correctly” posture. She is not the only one to to deliver a ‘weak link’ performance. So I am not picking on anyone in particular here. For me it is obvious that there was no ‘casting’ executed here in the traditional sense.

      Yes, I know you intended this to be a school project, but I am not cutting you guys any slack, coz when you graduate and go out into the real world, it’s not going to either. I am grading your project against all of the other submissions that were going for the Superbowl brass ring here and am letting you know IMHO why it fell short.

      2. DP/Directing: The camera angles were ‘too’ creative.
      – I didn’t like the waist level POV approach of the dialogue scenes in the end.
      – Though this was supposed to be one continues dialogue sequence, it didn’t work very well. Mostly because the action was shot at three different locations, and it def. felt like it was done at three different times. I would be hard pressed to believe that the dude in the end was in fact, acting ‘against’ any co-actors (the girls). It felt empty. Also the one angle (Where the jock says, “We’ll do anything….for some Doritos”), should have been shot from behind the girls shoulders (including a little bit of their shoulders) with the jock framed in the middle. It would have vastly increased the believability of a live action sequence.

      But again, what kills it here in this scene is the lack of continuity (setting) between the four adjacent ending clips.

      Overall, I saw many more worse submissions than yours in the gallery. You should be proud of what you did here. If I were your teacher (And I am credentialed in the State of California to teach), I would give you guys an A+.

      The VCK.

    • Hi Ilya,
      Not sure what you need here. I usually only review if the creating is making the request. Please take a minute to give a tad more information, and then I will gladly give you mine.
      The VCK

      • Thanks Jared. I’d just like any thoughts or ideas..one puts so much work in that it’s impossible to be objective at the end of the day.

        • Roger that Ilya,
          I’ll give it my best shot.
          PRO: The acting (casting) was great on this. No weak links from any of the performances. The little native american person was excellent. Wardrobe was awesome. Location (stills/green screen) was fantastic, not distracting in the usual way that green screen is. Your special effects were nicely done. Kudo to the editor for marrying live action with effects and making it believable. Sound design was great, very nice, especially in the end with the wind blowing. Your mastery of so many production elements is envied by many a producer to the contest I am sure. The reference to the biblical story in Exodus is very cool. In the closing shot you either had a huge stage/production or just did a great shot of compositing the extras in there. Either way you ‘rocked it’.

          CON:
          1. Story 1: Doritos goes for laughs. Your biggest problem is, you have none. Though visually compelling, no nut sacks are getting whacked. Yeah, I know, sort of depressing, but as creatives we have to appease our customers, and if Doritos says “Mayhem and Carnage!!”, then we must give them some. I also failed to deliver on two of my three spots with regard to the implied creative brief. It is why I am sure I will not be selected as a finalist.

          2. Story 2: For the same reason I liked the Biblical reference, there may be some at Doritos who do not. Sad to say, but brands are skittish when considering incorporating religious (potentially polarizing) content within the branding message. Their logic is, “Why take a chance”. In the first Doritos contest (2007), Rick Ladomade produced a wonderfully executed spot (from a production value standpoint), of The Last Supper, where Judas Escariot eats the sacrament (Dorito) before Jesus. Lot’s of assets were sunk into the project but there is no way Doritos would ever broach the subject matter relative to their brand….way to risky.

          Your “manna from the Gods” depticion is not as overt yet still in that grey area Doritos will shy away from IMO.

          3. SFX: I liked the visual special effects. They were impressive. Thing is, this is for the SuperBowl, and if you are going to use them, they must be as top notch as any FX House in Hollywood. Though, very good, they were just a tad cheesy. Yeah, I know the premise of the commercial was that the Gods are ‘cheesey’ but that does not been any of the SFX can be. I am splitting hairs here, because what you did was very very good, but the fine tooth comb of Doritos would def. question the slightly corny edge to some of the graphics. It think that if we were just talking about ‘national’ commercial standard, you could have gotten away with it, but for the SuperBowl, the expectations are just way to high. Check out this past Coca-Cola Superbowl commercial to better express what I am trying to say.

          In summation, you should be proud of what you accomplished.

          The VCK

  8. Jared–

    Isn’t this about the day that the finalists should be hearing? I saw on the forum the moderator said by the end of the month, but the rules stated contracts need to be back by the 21st, think that’s BS about the end of the month?

    • Hey SBM,
      Yeah, this is the official ‘drop dead week’, and with each passing day the chances are deader and deader. I will say though that a peer privately emailed me this morning to let me know he received an email from Doritos late last night informing him of finalist status…..so technically, on the outside chance that things just got hectic in Doritoland, and decisions have been delayed….yes there is still a chance for the rest of us, albeit a very very small one.

      The VCK

      • Jared real quick, your friend was informed that he is a finalist or of the “status” of the finalist decisions?

        • Hey SBM,
          I am aware of two producers who have been contacted by Doritos through email informing them that they are being considered for finalist status. This should be of no surprise when you consider all of the paperwork that needs to be done before the unveiling. I even remember something in the rules about the finalist paperwork needing to be returned no later than Dec. 21st.

          The VCK

      • Hey Jared, do you know if the”peers” that got the finalist status email heard whether they made the cut today, Friday the 18th?

        • Hey Brian,
          Not sure what you mean exactly.
          The VCK

          • Oh I just mean regarding the two people that u said were in consideration for finalist status (re: the email they received), whether they got CONFIRMATION today….i.e was there a follow up verification. I’m trying to figure out if the game is over ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Hey Brian,
          You are asking this in a way that might require me to give more information than I should. Are you saying that you know someone who got an initial notification earlier this weak and then an additional confirmation email today?
          The VCK

          • No, no…I’m just asking whether the people who got initial notification received confirmation today….Friday…the last day we all are holding out hope to have made the cut…I’m not asking you to reveal any names, just inform whether it’s game over.

        • Hey Brian,
          If you haven’t noticed there has been a minor brew-ha-ha over at the Doritos forum because of the information I gave on the two finalists. In light of this I can’t really give you anymore except this.

          If, like myself, you have not received any type of notification from Doritos to date, then my educated guess is that it is over.

          But I mean it when I say, you should continue to follow the Doritos contest and all relative press fall out since it will have ramifications for freelancers everywhere in the coming months and years.

          When the economy finally turns around and venture capital is once again freed up, I firmly believe there are going to be opportunities for all freelancers, the likes of which have never been seen in the advertising industry.

          Like you I am bummed out to be passed over in this contest, but it is only a minor setback. The revolutionary change occurring in the ad world, spurred on by contests like this CTSB contest is something that will benefit us all down the road.
          The VCK

          • Yeah I just saw the brouhaha over on crash.com! Don’t worry, I’m not spitting venom or thinking ur crossing the line. We all appreciate your feedback and the one or two haters get you down. Just want to know when we can all lay CTSB to rest. I hate holding out hope when there is no point! Closure would be nice for all the hard working people who entered the contest.

        • Hey Brian,
          Roger that. We’re good here. Good to have you here at the VCK.
          The VCK

  9. Hey Jared, just stumbled accross your blog as I was trying to see if there is any leak as to when the top 6 will be contacted… Love it!

    This site is a gem! I only wish I had found it earlier! I always find out about contests either after they closed or too close to the deadline to do anything. NO MORE! You have a new minion in your kingdom!

    I heard about the Doritos contest about 2 weeks before the deadline, and was going to chalk it up to another missed opp… but the following Monday an idea popped into my head, and thru craigslist and a local community theater, I managed to put everything together by Sat, and shoot my entry “The Cougar” (#5775) on Sunday… the day b4 the deadline. Everyone worked for free and and the only cost was the equip rental and some food.

    I see you’ve been giving some pretty stellar feedback on request. Would you mind taking a look at mine? I assume I would have been contacted by now if we made it in the 6, but I’d love to know your thoughts on what could have possibly given us a better shot.

    Thanks!
    -Burt

    • Hey Burt,
      Thanks for stopping by. Welcome to the kingdom. All of the rooms in the main castle are currently occupied, but I will have the stable boy throw some hay into one of the empty stalls so you can crash anytime you like. Don’t worry, all of the happening parties take place down at the Royal ranch anyways, and with guests coming and going, there will be room soon enough in the east wing of the castle.

      Heck, after my review, you may just hop over the moat and make a hasty exit anyways. Sorry if that happens, but hey, if you eventually change your mind and decide to return, know that the drawbridge is always open.

      The Review
      PRO: Production values were great. Lighting, acting, camera work. The story (though not overly original) worked. In the first CU of the dude with green shirt, he looked exactly like Peyton Manning (though not as much in the subsequent medium shot). Overall, you have an excellent and capable grasp on Prod. Vals. required to create national content.

      CON:
      MUSIC BED: The first 2/3rd’s of the commercial screamed for a music bed. It really felt like the editing wasn’t finished because of it. I have rarely seen a commercial that couldn’t be helped with music and your spot was no exception. It would not have detracted at all from the music bed you eventually use in the last 1/3rd. In fact, often when the music ‘switches’ it provides for comedic value.

      CASTING:
      The acting was great. I don’t feel though that the casting was executed properly. Your main problem was the senior citizen woman. She was just way too old. I mean no disrespect and I hope she is not going to read this especially if she is someone’s Grandma, but in the last scene especially, she almost looks dead…..I immediately thought “Weekend at Bernies“.
      The close up shots of the lipstick scene is a little overwhelming. There is no way, this says: “Yummy Chips”. Also, in the last scene, the guys aren’t ‘selling’ their affection. They almost look as concerned for her pulse as I did as a viewer. It is palpable in their body language (especially the dude standing to her left – frame right).

      If I had cast this it would have been with a ‘Flo‘ type character from the 70’s sitcom ‘Alice’. Click here to see footage from the show. She is the right mix of ‘middle aged sexy’ and adorable bowling alley trailer trash. In this way, you would inject ‘humor’ into the spot instead of ‘concern’ and ‘horror’.

      DP/DIRECTING/EDITING:
      Everything was fine up until the butt shot of the hottie. That shot was too quick. It does not linger on screen long enough to properly set up the plot. We have to ‘sell’ why these dudes would leave the Doritos unprotected on the table. I would have just lost the ‘hair flick’ clip that follows the butt shot. The hair flick shot is a throw away clip.

      I didn’t like the three (3) rapid fire clips of the guys falling over themselves to get to Grandma. The main problem is that the clips are all from the same angle, so the changing position of the hottie’s arms/hands/mouth bothers me. In one of the clips the Hotties mouth is ‘jaw dropping’, in the following clip it is ‘not’, and then in the next clip it ‘is’ again. Maybe if one of the clips were from a different angle it might have helped.

      We needed to have a change of emotion on the part of the Hottie. The last CU expression of the hottie should have been a pissed off one, with pursed lips and squinting eyes (anger).

      STORY/BRANDING:
      I have a problem with the visual that ‘anything’ could make someone forget about Doritos. The guys abandoning the chips for the hottie is just not good branding.

      This is just off the top of my head but what if this happened:
      The chips are a small bag (bite size), and after she takes a bite she slides the top of the folded wrapper into her back pocket. Now we see the cute butt AND the Doritos walking to the bowling lane. Here is where the guys look at each other and go for the kill. Cut to a clip where the bag falls out of the pocket to the floor and just sits there for a second (pregnant pause record scratch audio silence) till the senior citizen hand is seen scooping them up. We then can take over with your footage and the new hip music bed.

      Again, this was just a quick remedy but had I been included in your circle of reviewers to the script prior to production, it is some of the coverage I would have provided.

      If you don’t already have/belong to a circle of peers that you regularly run scripts/dailies past, you really should start. A good article to read is a past article of mine on peer review.

      Great job on the spot. Remember I am judging them on what it takes to be a ‘SuperBowl’ commercial.

      The VCK

      p.s. Don’t touch any of the unpasteurized milk in the barn, we are making leche flan for the Royal SuperBowl party.

      • Jared,

        What, and test my luck with the alligators in the mote? I’ll stay in the barn… besides, I hear the milk maid is a fox!

        I have to say, that was some of the BEST criticism I’ve ever received! Very eye-opening… and refreshing! Its hard to get an honest take on it sometimes.. and the fact that its coming from someone who knows what they are talking about really puts it in perspective.

        You brought up some very good points that I hadn’t thought of. Originally, I thought the humor was in the fact that the Cougar was sooo old… but I guess a 93-yr-old is just a tad…. too far? Love the bag-in-the-back-pocket idea… I could go on, but it seems redundant.

        Thanks for taking the time to review… it was just what I needed… just wish I found your kingdom before the shoot! I plan on printing this out along with the peer review article and showing it to…well… my peers. (don’t worry, the Cougar won’t see it)

        Long live the King! (I always wanted to say that)
        -Burt

  10. Hi Jared,
    I know that you cannot divulge the spots that are “being considered” but can you confirm (or deny) if they were on your “Top 10” list? Also, do you think it is pretty much over right about now if you have not yet heard from Doritos or do you think they are still working it out?

  11. I’d suspect that all finalists have been contacted by now. Good luck to all those winners!

  12. Thank you!

    You gave my video a very generous critique in response to my posting on November 24th.
    I never got an RSS notice that you had responded, I just thought to check back today.

    I was quite taken aback to find your creative apprasial waiting here all along for me. I want to thank you immensley for breaking down the video.

    Your criticsisms are valid and I believe the advise you offered is very sound. You have furthered my production education in a most tangible manner. I certainly will use these guidlines to polish future projects.

    Much gratitude,
    Andrew

    • Hey Andrew,
      Nice to have you revisit the blog. You also posted one of the coolest thank you’s for a review I’v ever received. In addition to your large production potential, you have something that is very difficult to learn…..humility.

      When, someone offers a critique it does not mean they are 100% correct with their obs. They might only be 50% accurate…..or maybe only 5%. But even if the reviewer is only 5% accurate, that is still 5% gold bullion. We should take the 5% and let it make our projects better. We can discard the remaining 95% if we like, but never in front of the reviewer. If we kill the messenger, we will never get that 5% again. This is somehting regularly lost on the average creative.

      The inability to receive critique is probably the single largest barrier to creative growth. Relative to such, I would guess you are more mature than 99.9% of the creatives to the Doritos gallery. It’s the kind of growing up that takes a long time to do. I firmly believe it is as important as original talent.

      This will def. speed your growth process Andrew. Good for you man. I’m a little envious, and that doesn’t happen often in the kingdom.

      The VCK

  13. Hey Jared,

    Did you happen to see my video titled “Lucky Dog”? Or my boyfriends and my video titled “Mr. Awesome”? They were both finally uploaded to the gallery a few weeks ago. I would love to hear what you think of them. Thanks!

  14. Hold on Jared!!! I received your criticism well….where is my praise on taking criticism and stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

    Greg

    • Sir Greg,
      I am hurt you thought the Gregmeister didn’t hold a special place in the VCK’s heart.

      1) You have a dining chair made of Irish Pine with your name carved in it, in the Royal Banquet hall.

      2) I require that the stable boy put fresh hay and burlap on the ground weekly where you bed down for the evening in the royal Equestrian Center (sorry, still no room at the Castle).

      3) Why just last week I ordered the draw bridge lowered at 3:00AM when you came home late from Lord Frito’s jousting tournament smelling of rich grog, mind you.

      Come now, surely you must know how appreciated you are here in the kingdom.

      A sullen VCK

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