Doritos ‘put up’…now the naysayers can ‘shut up’!!!

So I saw the ads yesterday during the Superbowl. And as you night have guessed, I was elated to see “Man’s Best Friend“, not only winning the Doritos vote, but scoring the number one spot on the USA Today Ad Meter. $1,000,000.00 to Jonathan Friedman. Boo-freagin’-yawwwhhh!!!!

When “Man’s Best Friend“, made His Highness’ top five list month’s ago, I’ll admit the selection was with some reservation. I just plain loved it, but it didn’t quite fit the mold of what Doritos had selected in the past. As a result, and despite my appreciation for it’s brilliance, I almost left it off the list. After all, it flew in the face of the frequent advice I had given inquiring creatives regarding base content. Ultimately, I couldn’t deny it’s strength from a pure advertising perspective (for the brand), as well as for the Ad Meter folks. It was in my estimation, the strongest submission to the contest and why it continued to stay in the top five no matter how the hierarchy of the list morphed. In the end it’s nice to be able to say: “Damn, it feels good to be so right!”

Funny, but I also found myself not minding being marginally wrong about the type of content Doritos is willing to choose for the CTSB. It used to be if there weren’t visible carnage inflicted to the human male scrotal area, a submission had no chance of registering with Doritos. Not only was “Man’s Best Friend” non-carnage content, it was pleasantly more cerebral than normal, requiring the viewer to do a little work, and actually follow the storyline to get the humor. Wonderfully subtle sight gags with little to no dialogue. Bravo Mr. Friedman. The larger implication here is that Doritos just might be open to a wider range of content ideas moving forward should they continue with the CTSB.

I remember years ago when I was a babe in the young woods of what is today’s video contest world. Every time I lost a contest I was sure the brand or marketing firm holding the contest were either evil, or just had very poor taste. While some contests are certainly run in devilish fashion, brands do occasionally run contests for the purpose of using it’s content for legit advertising (Doritos). Yeah, brands like Doritos tend to know exactly what they are doing and what they are going for, when they select representative content. No one knows the tradition and ambition of a brand, better than the brand itself, as a general rule.

It was amusing to witness everyone dissing Doritos for their CTSB picks this year (something I have also been guilty of in year’s past). Equally amusing was watching Doritos nab THREE TIMES IN THE LAST FOUR YEARS, the #1 spot on the USA Today Ad Meter (USATAM). Can you say, “Duh”!!!!

After yesterday, anyone who still thinks they know better than Doritos, how to pick a winner, needs to re-think how they process thought, since similar logic might also be affecting the balance of decision-making in their lives.

Whatever particular CTSB submissions made us (as individuals) laugh out loud, hold our stomaches, call our Mommies, fist pump our buddies, turn green with envy, etc. etc., is purely a matter of subjective opinion. The CTSB submissions  chosen by Doritos, on the other hand, were a matter of calculated brilliance. We in the freelance community should be nothing but grateful for Doritos’ collateral accomplishment of drawing attention to themselves, and simultaneously showcasing to the world what we independent creatives are capable of on the biggest stage the advertising world has to offer.

Doritos CTSB Runners-up:
Too bad “Sling Baby” didn’t score higher than 4th in the USATAM. It would have been awesome for a fellow creative to get $400,00.00 or $600,000.00 for either a 2nd or 3rd place finish courtesy of the Snack Strong bank account. Still, notwithstanding the missed payday, it is a remarkable accomplishment for Kevin Wilson and Doritos. Doritos basically owns the Ad Meter. I’d also be curious to know how “Bird Of Prey” would have fared with USATAM. Thereto, Joby Harris did an awesome job with special effects and stunt work.

The PopTent Factor:
Though not in the top 5, it should be noted that scored in a big way by taking slot #13 in the USATAM, with their Dannon Greek Yogurt spot. Congratulations Remy Neymarc (director of the PopTent sponsored spot). Not shabby for an ongoing crowd sourcing portal with about .00001% the marketing budget of a SNACK STRONG marketing megalith. When you add in that provides ongoing production opportunities for we creatives year round (not just during a single annual football game), the implications should excite us all. If the brands were watching, and there’s little doubt they were, it should eventually translate into an increase of freelance production opportunities for we creatives from Poptent and from crowd-sourcing portals in general.

Similar to the year I was a finalist (2007), Doritos broadcast only two spots during the SuperBowl this year. I and two other creative teams (The Herbert Brothers – Duct Tape and Billy Federighi’s – Mouse Trap) remained un-broadcast that inaugural year. Trust me when I share, it doesn’t feel very good to have gone through the Doritos contest campaign whirlwind only to come up short. I have this to offer the creators of the three spots that didn’t air this year: Though not getting air-time back in 2007, Billy Federighi’s and Brett Snyder’s submission of  ‘Mouse Trap’ would go on to air during the 2008 Superbowl, a non-CTSB Commercial contest year….because Snack Strong could…  And The Herbert Brothers would go on to be the first Doritos commercial to nab the #1 USATAM slot winning them a cool $1,000,000.00 in 2009. I don’t have all of the particulars in front of me but I think a few of this year’s finalists have already enjoyed some of the ‘repeat success’ phenomena which seems to manifests itself with the CTSB when the talent is undeniable.

Well, I’ll summate by concluding that IMO this year’s Crash was nothing short of an overwhelming success. I hope that Doritos got whatever paydays they were targeting, enough to justify running the contest again next year. It is just plain good for everyone.

The King


15 responses to “Doritos ‘put up’…now the naysayers can ‘shut up’!!!

  1. I think the ad meter users are getting wise to it and know that if the Doritos ads get high enough the makers will win the money and are ratcheting the meter up for them now. There were a handful of spots that were funnier and better than those 2 doritos ones. Though it was a down year for the ads overall.

    I think next year you will see the more of the big names having contest like this for their SB ads because they have to be catching on that the ad meter folks are inflating these so called little guy spots.

  2. Fair enough Jason. So I guess the trick is to continue to submit to the CTSB every year. It sort of guarantees a big payday for the winner.

    For clarity though, you don’t think that Doritos is picking the finalists willy-nilly do you? Surely you don’t doubt that they perform their marketing/testing due diligence.

  3. Yeah I give you that Doritos must be doing their marketing/testing.

    My theory now is that Babies, Boobs or Dogs is the key elements to use going forward. I have a idea already that will incorporate all 3 for next year.

  4. Or dudes who squawk like birds.

  5. Hi King,

    Kerry from MOFILM here, long time reader/lurker.

    I’d love to know what you thought about our Super Bowl spot for Chevrolet – You can see the 30 second on the Ad Meter poll ( or the full 60 spot here

    Even though we came in 24th on the Panel, we’re pretty damn proud of that spot, and Zach the director behind it. Discussion about the validity ad meter aside, he’s already had at least one job offer off the back of his spot airing, which is great news for him.

    • Hey Kerry,
      I think you guys ‘should’ be proud of your spot. I thought the acting of the ‘GRAD’ was obviously what sold it (saved it). I say ‘saved’ because I do think was one major weakness.

      The establishing premise of the commercial would have been better expressed with a rack focus shot used in conjunction with the duo CUs of the GRAD’s face. EG: A CU of the ‘GRAD’ looking in the direction of the Fridge/Camaro (both in the same line of sight – the fridge lined up on the cobblestone sidewalk, several yards and directly in front of the Camaro parked on the street). With the GRAD looking in the direction of both fridge and car, using rack focus first on fridge and then on car it would have knocked this one out of the park. He could have even vaulted over the fridge (like a fullback) to get to the Camaro. I honestly think if the director used this basic cinematic staple, you guys would have scored much higher on the USATAM.

      Having said that, I think it’s awesome that you guys rated as high as you did and are part of what Doritos, Poptent, GoDaddy, etc. etc. have done (are doing) to bring to the industry table the power of the freelance creative and making ways for our community to become more mature and viable as options by the brands willing to explore our capability. it’s awesome to see this all take place in this new millennium and frankly as a creative to also be a part of it.

      And no more lurking. Time to become a citizen of the Kingdom. You are welcome in the royal banquet hall any time, Kerry. Be sure to bring your bed roll though, as currently are occupied in the East and West Towers, but one can always crash in the Royal Stable. I’ll see about adding on a wing, if we start to get more visitors from the Kingdom of MoFilm.

      BTW, the commercial looks like it was shot around where I grew up in Pennsylvania.

      His Highness

      • Great feedback – thanks, i think the ad was shot Floral Park NYC, as Zach lives in Long island.

        It’s certainly great to be part of an industry challenging the perceptions of who can be deemed creative and not, we’ve had some stunning work done and more and more of our brands are putting the work to air, or using it online to support their above line campaigns. I think we may see some really interesting uses of our community this year.

        And thanks for the stable room – am happy to rough it, though hopefully one day we’ll be able to return the favour and invite you as a MOFILM winner to be our guest at one of our events, I think they will be most suited to your Highness’ position.

  6. Woah!! Congratulations to Jonathan!!! WOW!

  7. Hey Jared, it looks like “Sling Baby” is listed first? And “Man’s Best Friend” is #5??

    • Although the Crash site shows “Man’s Best” friend at #1
      I’m guessing the other link is some sort of separate interactive vote?

    • Hey Keith, The ‘Facebook’ version of the Ad Meter is an internet voter based contest. I frankly don’t care how it turns out. Whoever wins will spend most of the proceeds an prosthetic finger implants.

      “Man’s Best Friend” won the 2012 USATAM. The advertising industry recognizes the live rating system instituted by USATAM almost a quarter of a century ago. It is the measuring stick to which all Superbowl advertising agencies submit. The Facebook USATAM, on the otherhand is just a way for USA Today to get some social media buzz. Any creative other than Jonathan Friedman, who lists on their resume that the won the USA Today Ad Meter in 2012 will be making of themselves an industry water cooler joke.

    • See comment above, Keith.

  8. Hello King! Just wanted to thank you again for believing in “Man’s Best Friend” from the very beginning. I am still in shock about all of this, as you can imagine. I always enjoy reading your posts–keep up the great work!

    • Hey Jonathan. Don’t mean to sound too cocky here, but the King is usually right. I knew your spot was a winner. Good for you man. Pay your bills and invest wisely (in yourself). After taxes 1M doesn’t go as far as most people think, but well invested It can keep you in a very good place. Again…congratulations. Look forward to seeing you around the palace grounds more often.

      His Highness

    • Jonathan, congratulations! Looking forward to seeing what you create next!

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