Well, there you have it. The horses are out of the barn and galloping their way to Doritos and Superbowl fame, or at least that’s the goal. I get nostalgic this time of year during the CRASH. I remember what it was like as a finalist, to campaign like a zombie day and night during the vote-getting phase of the contest. At the time, I was so ill-equipped to compete with my fellow finalists. In fact, I had used/owned a computer just a single year and owned a cell phone for only two years prior to the inaugural CTSB. Born in 1964 I am on the cusp of the baby-boomer generation. A generation which has not embraced the internet (or other communication technologies) in the way subsequent generations have. I almost missed the boat, but eventually joined the .com insanity with the rest of the world. Not sure if I am better off now than I was 7 years ago, but I have certainly been changed forever.
These five CTSB finalists (production teams) are about to embark on a life changing whirlwind odyssey, whether or not they prevail in being broadcast during the Superbowl. I remember being so bummed out discovering I came in last place in ‘votes’ and that my commercial wasn’t played during the big game. But then pleasantly discovered that Doritos liked our spots enough to run them as regular advertisement throughout the year. I remember the opporutnites that came from scoring my first national commercial. Lot’s of good things happened which eventually allowed the creation of Jared Cicon Films. So, win or lose on the SuperBowl stage, these finalists are already winners.
I was happy to see that two of my five choices for finalists made the Doritos top five: Bird Of Prey and Man’s Best Friend. And yes, though all of the spots are good commercials, IMO, better spots were passed over (no disrespect to the final five).
I am however smart enough to know that just because ‘The King’, on any given matter, thinks something is awesome, doesn’t mean that all of the remaining ‘non’ good-looking-chubby-white-boys-father-of-four-former-east-coast-rock-star-wannabee-baby-boomers will feel the same way, or that they are wrong. heck, it might just be this sole good-looking-chubby-white-boy who is occasionally wrong. After all, my experience in life is singular and so too are the resulting opinions from those experiences. It is why I am such a big proponent of peer review.
What is painfully clear is that all of the finalists chosen by Doritos over the years (and how well they have done on the Ad Meter) bears out that Doritos knows what the they are doing. No one can dispute this.
You don’t do as well in the USA Today Ad meter as often as Doritos has, without knowing what the h**l you are doing in the matter.
It’s funny, just a few minutes after the five finalists were announced, my phone started ‘texting’ off the hook. Peers and friends were lamenting the choices made by Doritos, and venting their frustrations verbally this-away-and-that-away. As predicted they would be, most were unhappy with the final five. Opinions are like fish in the see. countless and many still undiscovered. There is even a fellow blogger by the name of Dan Lamoureux (VideoContestNews) who is hemming and hawwing about how unfair the process is and why people should and shouldn’t have been chosen as finalists, using criteria other than how well they would do on the USA Today Ad Meter. I really wish people like Danny could step back for a second and listen to how pathetic their arguments sound. My pig pet peeve with bloggers like Danny Lamoureux, is that too many of you fellow creative peers who might otherwise go about progressing in positive and productive ways, read drivel like his and mistakenly create mental crutches to fall back on when things don’t go the way you’d like in contests and other freelance matters. In an ever increasing competitive creative fraternity, there is no time for either crutches or drivel.
Doritos, doesn’t care if you are a rank amateur (like I was my first year), or a veteran in the film industry (Kristin Dehnert that same first year), or somewhere in between (Billy Federighi & Brett Snyder the first year). Doritos doesn’t care if you come to the Doritos gas station in a Lamborghini or a mo-ped. They just want you….need you to perform on the highest level possible.
DORITOS WANTS SPOTS THAT CAN COMPETE ON THE BIG STAGE WITH THE BIG BOY AD AGENCIES OF THE REST OF THE WORLD.
Let that sink in for a minute people……and then learn to embrace it. You otherwise chance finding yourself operating from a perpetual piss & moan disposition that could stunt your creative growth and sour you on what is still the greatest opportunity for freelancers bar none world wide. The advertising world has been changing before us for several years now (in large part because of what Doritos introduced). We don’t have time, nor is it helpful to complain about the part of our cup that is yet empty.
Video Contest News (VCN) presents the argument that past finalists shouldn’t be allowed to re-enter the CTSB once they win…., and/or shouldn’t be awarded subsequent years because it’s unfair to win more than once…………
Danny Lamoureux, (editor for the VCN) suggests that hose creatives who have shown skill at nailing the ‘creative brief’ (and BTW helped Doritos with their program’s success) should be barred from entering and/or prevailing in the contest a 2nd time. I don’t subscribe to this kind of narcissistic frustration. It flies in the face of why great things become ‘great’ in the world. It definitely isn’t the premise upon which America was built from the Industrial Revolution forward. It is similar to the mamby-pamby liberal perspective that there should be some arbitrary leveling of the playing field when a certain person or people feel disenfranchised because they can’t compete in any desired field. Is Danny suggesting we institute a sort of ‘Affirmative Action’ for the contest world? Oh yeah, the rest of the advertising world would just love that. That would ‘really’ provide formidable competition to the balance of the advertising industry where no such constraint exists.
Barring past finalists would be akin to the jealous fraternity of creatives at the Director’s Guild barring Stephen Spielberg from producing E.T., becasue he already had his hit with Close Encounters. And….he definitely should not have had the right to steal a disproportianate amount of box office revenue with Indiana Jones, Schindler’s List, Super Eight, etc. etc. etc… How dare he. If Danny had his way, he would explain that Mr. Spielberg is now so well connected, as a result of his past success, that there is no way for his content to compete. the only solution is to bar/censor Mr. Spielberg.
Absurd. Funny too, because after reading a blog post he penned titled “No Fair, You Used Your Skills“, it appears Danny Lamoureux is conflicted on the issue.
HERE’S THE DEAL….
Doritos doesn’t even trust themselves when choosing finalists for the CTSB. Did you hear what I just wrote?
DORITOS DOESN’T EVEN TRUST THEMSELVES WHEN CHOOSING FINALISTS!!!!!
Doritos will select the 25-100 submissions from the gallery that fit the brand requirements for comedy, demographic, image. They then put these spots in front of test market groups in an environment very, VERY similar (wink, wink) to what the real USA Today Ad Meter judges experience on the day of the Superbowl. The USA Today judges are regular people like you and I BTW. Current finalists are rated alongside previous year’s finalists commercials, and and also against spots like Budweiser, E-Trade, Geico, etc. etc., The finalists who fare the best (score the highest) are the ones Doritos chooses to compete during the Superbowl. End of story.
Doritos awards no creative finalist status unless the relative content demonstrates the requisite Ad Meter strength through test panel marketing. Case closed. Whatever way a creative does or doesn’t gain insight, advantage, upper-hand, insider-info, should matter little in the bigger picture. The most important take-away a freelance creative (and reader to this blog) should glean is to do the requisite homework to improve storytelling skills, increase production assets/values, and become steeped in the tradition of the brand to the extent you are capable of creating the type of content they just can’t pass over. Where the field of 6,000+ CTSB submissions is concerned, these five finalists did so.
The freelance genre (our world) is being flooded with new talent on a daily basis. Those creatives who used to be able to produce something half decent a year or two ago and gain some measure of recognition for their work, did so in part, because of the rather diminutive quantity of creatives on the scene at that time (it’s called ‘competition‘ Danny). During 2011 and now in 2012 things are changing even more rapidly and in bigger ways. We are being joined by waves and waves of new creatives who will force us to step up our game or render us obsolete. It is this continuing wave of oncoming talent that will help foster great changes in advertising. There is no free lunch. There is no ‘one-block-of-cheese-per-person’ stipulation. No entitlements here. It is a merit-based environment we must all prepare for. I try to improve daily. We all should. Only this way will we deserve the fruits of those labors that eventually reap reward. The alternative is to whine, complain, point fingers and wallow in mediocrity.
Doritos owes no one any apologies, and deserves much credit for what they do. The King is grateful for access like this on such a large scale, as we all should be.