Crash the Super Bowl
The Crash the Super Bowl contest is an annual online commercial competition run by Frito-Lay. Consumers are invited to create their own Doritos ads and each year, at least one fan-made commercial is guaranteed to air during the Super Bowl. In recent years, Doritos has offered bonus prizes ranging from $400,000 to $1,000,000 for any Crash the Super Bowl ad that can score a top spot on the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter poll. The Crash the Super Bowl contest is the largest online video contest in the world. In the 2011–2012 installment, Frito-Lay received more than 6,100 submissions and paid out more than $2,125,000 in prizes.
In the fall of 2006 Frito-Lay (with the help of their ad agency, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and led by their promotional agency, The Marketing Arm) launched the first installment of the Crash the Super Bowl contest. Consumers were tasked with creating 30 second commercials for Doritos products. In all, 1,065 consumer-made ads were submitted and displayed on the contest site, Crashthesuperbowl.com. From those entries, five ads were selected as finalists. The director of each selected ad received a cash prize of $10,000 and a trip for two to Detroit during Super Bowl XLI in February 2007. The five finalist ads were posted to the contest web site for a month long public vote. The commercial that received the most votes, "Live the Flavor" aired during the 2007 Super Bowl. Though the five 2006–2007 finalists were flown to Detroit, they did not actually attend the Super Bowl. Instead, they watched the game from a private party near the stadium. In a move that has since become a Crash the Super Bowl tradition, no one, not even the finalists, knew which commercials would air before the game. "Live the Flavor" was the first consumer-generated ad to ever air during the Super Bowl and was ranked the #4 best commercial of the game on the USA Today Ad Meter poll. Later in the game, Frito-Lay surprised the finalists by also airing a second Crash the Super Bowl ad, "Check Out Girl."
In December 2007 Time.com named "Live the Flavor" the 9th best commercial of the year. Frito-Lay's PR company, Ketchum Inc. won a Golden World Award from the International Public Relations Association for their work on the 2006–2007 Crash the Super Bowl contest. According to the IPRA, the competition led to a 12% increase in sales of Doritos in January, 2007 and nearly one million people visited the Crash The Super Bowl website to view the submissions and vote for the finalists. In the months following the Super Bowl, Frito-Lay chose to air all five commercials that had made the Crash the Super Bowl finals.
In the Fall of 2007, Frito-Lay announced that they would once again run the Crash the Super Bowl contest. But instead of being a commercial contest, the 2007–2008 installment would give an aspiring musician the chance to "Crash" the Super Bowl and have their music heard by millions of viewers. The winner would also receive a record deal with Interscope Geffen A&M Records. The winner of the public vote was 22-year old Kina Grannis and during Super Bowl XLII, Frito-Lay purchased 60 seconds of commercial time to run a music video featuring Grannis performing part of her original song, "Message From Your Heart." Frito-Lay also chose to air one of the 2006–2007 Crash the Super Bowl finalist ads, "Mouse Trap" during the game.
Grannis' performance was seen by 100 million viewers and her song, "Message From Your Heart" briefly made the Top 30 on iTunes. However, Grannis' music video/commercial was landed at the very bottom of USA Today's Super Bowl ad meter poll. The 2007 Crash the Super Bowl commercial that Doritos decided to air managed to rank #4 on the ad meter that year.
Frito-Lay brought the commercial contest back in the fall of 2008 and the company has been running the Crash as a commercial contest ever since. In 2008, Frito-Lay challenged filmmakers to create the best commercial of Super Bowl XLIII. If a consumer-made Doritos commercial could score the #1 spot on the official USA Today Ad meter poll, Frito-Lay would pay the ad's creator a one million dollar bonus. 1,961 entries were submitted in the fall of 2008 and five finalists spots were selected in early January. Each finalist received a prize of $25,000 and a trip for two to the Super Bowl. The finalists watched the game from a private box in the stadium. The ad that won the public vote was "Free Doritos" by Joe and Dave Herbert of Batesville, IN. "Free Doritos" did score the #1 spot on the 2009 Ad Meter poll and the Herbert Brothers won the million dollar bonus. Frito-Lay also decided to air a bonus Crash the Super Bowl ad, "The Power of the Crunch" later in the game.
The third installment of the Crash the Super Bowl commercial contest was launched in the fall of 2009. In this version of the contest, fans were encouraged to "Take the Top 3" spots on the USA Today Ad meter poll. Bonus prizes of $1,000,000, $600,000 and $400,000 were offered if a filmmakers scored the number one, two or three spot on the poll. If three Crash the Super Bowl commercials swept the top three spots on the ad meter, each team would receive an additional bonus of one million dollars.
Six consumer-made ads were selected for the finals and each finalist received a prize of $25,000 plus a trip for two to the Super Bowl. Frito-Lay ultimately decided to air 4 of the 6 finalist commercials during Super Bowl 44. The Crash the Super Bowl spot "UnderDog" was ranked the second best commercial on the USA Today ad Meter so the team that made that entry won a bonus of $600,000.
On September 15, 2010, Frito-Lay announced that Pepsi Max was joining Doritos for the 2010–2011 installment of the annual contest. Consumers could submit 30 second commercials for either product. Judges selected five Pepsi Max Finalists and five Doritos finalists. Three commercials for each product then aired during the 2011 Super Bowl. The Doritos' commercial "Pug Attack" tied for first place on the USA Today Ad Meter poll and its creator received a one million dollar bonus from Frito-Lay. The Doritos the Super Bowl ad "House Sitting" came in third on the Ad Meter poll and the creator of that spot won a bonus of $400,000.
Frito-Lay received more than 6,100 submissions for the 2012 Crash the Super Bowl contest Two fan-made commercials won million dollar bonuses; "Man's Best Friend" and "Sling Baby." "Man's Best Friend" was ranked the number one ad of the game in the USA Today Ad Meter poll. FritoLay also offered a million dollar bonus to any Crash the Super Bowl ad that could win a second poll that was run by Facebook. Facebook voters ranked "Sling Baby" the best commercial of the game and the Sling Baby team won the bonus money.
On September 18th, 2012, Frito-Lay announced the 6th installment of the Crash the Super Bowl commercial contest. In addition to the regular prizes, the director of the commercial that scored the highest on the USA Today ad meter would win a job working with director Michael Bay on Transformers: Age of Extinction. On January 3rd, 2013, Doritos announced their list of the Top 5 finalists; "Goat 4 Sale" by Ben Callner of Atlanta, GA, "Road Chip" by Tyler Dixon of Los Angeles, CA, "Fashionista Daddy" by Mark Freiburger of Los Angeles, CA, "Express Checkout" by Sasha Shemirani of San Diego, CA, and "Fetch" by Joe Taranto of Los Angeles, CA. For the first time ever, the entire Crash the Super Bowl contest was moved from Crashthesuperbowl.com and run on Facebook as a contest app. According to Frito-Lay, more than 3,500 entries were submitted in the fall of 2012. "Fashionista Daddy" and "Goat 4 Sale" both aired during the Super Bowl but neither ad was ranked the #1, #2 or #3 commercial of the game on the USA Today's public ad meter. Fashionista Daddy ranked the highest so the director Mark Freiburger was the winner of the Transformers 4 job.
In 2013, FritoLay announced that for the first time, the Crash the Super Bowl contest would be accepting international entries. Anyone who lived in a country where Doritos are sold could participate. Instead of awarding bonus prizes, FritoLay promised to air the commercial that won an online vote and pay the creator a one million dollar grand prize.
The 2014 finalists were “Time Machine” by Ryan Andersen of Scottsdale, Arizona, “Office Thief” by Chris Capel of Valencia, California, “The Cowboy Kid” by Amber Gill of Ladera Ranch, California, “Breakroom Ostrich” by Eric Haviv of Atlanta, Georgia and “Finger Cleaner” by Thomas Noakes of Sydney, Australia.
- Doritos ad contest raises the stakes USA Today. September 9, 2009
- Doritos reveals five 'Crash the Super Bowl' finalists Pepsico Press Release January 4, 2012
- A Brief History of the Crash the Super Bowl Contest Video Contest News. January 7th, 2012
- Anheuser-Busch Wins USA TODAY Ad Meter Title USA Today February 5th, 2007
- Top TV ads of 2007 Time.com December 9th, 2007
- Doritos Crashes the Superbowl IPRA Press Release 2007
- Ad Track: E-Trade baby, you're a star USA Today February 19, 2008
- Video Contest News Interview with the Crash Champs, The Herbert Brothers VideoContestNews.com October 22, 2009
- Do-It-Yourself Super Ads The New York Times. February 8th, 2010
- Doritos and Pepsi Max (?!) announce the 2011 Crash the Super Bowl contest VideoContestNews.com September 16, 2010
- 2011 Crash the Super Bowl Ad Meter results VideoContestNews.com February 7, 2011
- Doritos reveals five 'Crash the Super Bowl' finalists Pepsico Press Release January 4, 2012
- Doritos Ad Meter winners each receive a $1 million bonus February 9, 2012
- If your Doritos Super Bowl ad wins, you get a movie job USA Today September 18, 2012
- VCN reviews the 2013 Crash the Super Bowl finalists Video Contest News January 4, 2012
- Frito-Lay Likes the Data From Doritos' 'Crash the Super Bowl' Adweek February 7, 2013
- Why didn’t Doritos’ Crash the Super Bowl ads do better on this year’s USA Today Ad meter? Videocontestnews.com February 4th, 2013
- Doritos going global with Super Bowl ad promo Videocontestnews.com February 4th, 2013
- Doritos announces their 2014 Crash the Super Bowl finalists USA Today September 11th, 2014