You still have until Jan. 31 to vote in the “Crash the Super Bowl” Doritos commercial contest, and one laugh-out-loud finalist seems to be leading the way, at least as far as YouTube views are concerned.
The “Crash the Super Bowl” contest is an annual competition sponsored by PepsiCo allowing ordinary people and up-and-coming film makers to submit their own 30-second spots for either Doritos or Pepsi Max.
According to PepsiCo spokesman, there were more than 5,600 submissions this year, the highest number ever received. Of those, five Doritos and five Pepsi Max finalists were chosen to be screened on the “Crash the Super Bowl” website.
Visitors can go online to vote for one of the Doritos commercials and one of the Pepsi Max commercials (and get a chance at winning Super Bowl tickets). The top two vote-getters in each category will air during the Super Bowl, and PepsiCo will pick two of the remaining commercials to also show during the game.
So what commercials show promise?
The hands-down funniest entry in the Doritos commercial contest is called “Pug Attack” by J.R. Burningham and Tess Ortbals, the creative team behind Mythmakers Entertainment in Burbank, Calif. and, according to Tess, “partners in love and life.”
The commercial features a man behind a glass door teasing a pug in the back yard with a Dorito, while his girlfriend warns him not to hurt her dog. The chip-tease gets a big surprise when the dog knocks down the door with a flying leap and steals his Doritos.
Ortbals said the pug, 5-year-old Oko Nono, belongs to a friend named Scott O’Connor and, after surviving a coyote attack in Ventura County, came back full of spunk, energy and rebellion. As soon as Burningham saw the dog, he knew he had to film it in something.
That something turned out to be their entry in the “Crash the Super Bowl” Doritos commercial contest.
They conceived, filmed and edited the film over the course of two weeks in Ventura County on a budget of $500 using a cast and crew made up of “a cute, tight-knit little community of friends and family,” Ortbals said.
And don’t worry, the little doggie star is fine. Her owner told the Ventura County Star:
Scott O’Connor, a Ventura resident, said the door crash in the ad was merely an editing trick.
“They took it really easy on my dog; she’s in mint condition, no damage,” said O’Connor, an artist who has a painting exhibit at the Harbor Village Gallery in Ventura through Wednesday.
Oko NoNo, he said, is a big hit at his art receptions. The pug gets her unusual name from an abbreviation he once used on construction tools and the fact that she does naughty things and sometimes doesn’t heed him. It’s also a play on words on John Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono (he’s a longtime Lennon fan).
The film makers have been busy promoting the film via viral marketing – Facebook has been the most effective so far – and on their “Pug Attack” website. So far, it seems to be paying off. The commercial has racked up more than 52,000 views on YouTube, about three times as many as the next most viewed contest entry.
For making it to the finals, the “Pug Attack” team gets a trip to the game and $25,000 (and as much as $1 million if their commercial hits the top of USA Today’s Ad Meter).
Meanwhile, PepsiCo will spend about $3 million on each spot in the Super Bowl. Ortbals said she and Burningham are excited at the chance theirs could be one of those picked.
“That makes me feel so grateful that there’s a company out there willing to take a risk on young film makers.”