By Barry Janoff
January 2, 2014: Back in 2006, PepsiCo's Frito Lay brand Doritos invited the public at large to create and submit ads that would compete against a bevy of others for the opportunity to air during Super Bowl XLI, which aired Feb. 4, 2007, on CBS.
In 2013, in anticipation of Super Bowl XLVIII, the ante has been upped by Doritios' "Crash the Super Bowl," which is offering a $1 million grand prize and the opportunity to work with Marvel Studios on the set of The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
According to Doritos, the consumer-generated competition attracted thousands of submissions representing 30 countries.
The quest to crash Super Bowl XLVIII is now down to the Final Five, from which voting among the public and Doritos executives will determine the two 30-second spots that will air on Fox on Feb. 2.
Thirty-second spots during the game have topped $4 million, according to Fox.
In addition to the increased prize money and Marvel tie-in, this was the first year PepsiCo's Doritos brand opened its annual "Crash the Super Bowl" contest to people from "around the world where Doritos tortilla chips are sold." Never the less, four of the five finalist are from the U.S.
The five Crash the Super Bowl finalist ads (in alphabetical order by finalist last name) are:
• "Time Machine" by Ryan Andersen, Scottsdale, AZ: Jimmy is a kid who has invented a time machine, which runs on Doritos. Next door neighbor Mr. Smith gives it a try and finds himself "transported" to the future and an aged "Jimmy."
• "Office Thief" by Chris Capel, Valencia, Calif.: An employee is accused of eating all of the break room Doritos.
• "The Cowboy Kid" by Amber Gill, Ladera Ranch, Calif.: A boy and his dog turn into the Lone Ranger and Silver to claim a bag of Doritos.
• "Breakroom Ostrich" by Eric Haviv, Atlanta: This one adds an ostrich to the mix when an office employee is blamed for eating all the break room Doritos and also leaving a big mess.
• "Finger Cleaner" by Thomas Noakes, Sydney, Australia: Billy, a garage mechanic, gets the Doritos dust off his fingers by using the "finger cleaner," a hole in the wall that leads, unbeknownst to him, to a guy who licks fingers clean.
"When the Doritos brand first launched 'Crash the Super Bowl,' the concept of user-generated content was brand new," Ram Krishnan, vp-marketing for PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division, said in a statement. "Since then, the amount of content created and shared on a global level has grown to an astounding rate. We were so excited by the global response to this year's contest, and are thrilled to now spotlight two finalist ads on one of the world's biggest advertising stages."
People can vote for the best ad Jan. 4- 29 at Doritos' dedicated Web site.
Ultimately, two ads will air during Super Bowl XLVIII, one selected by the public's votes and one by the Doritos brand team.
The creators of both winning ads will receive the opportunity to work on the set of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, scheduled to hit theaters in 2015.
According to Stan Lee, the creative mastermind behind Marvel, "As someone who has brought comic book characters to life for an entire career, I know what it takes to tell a great story. In just 30 seconds, these five finalists tell incredible stories — each with their own style — and have left me truly blown away."
The ad with the highest total number of votes will win its creator the $1 million grand prize. The runner-up will receive $50,000. The three finalists whose commercials don't air during the broadcast will each win $25,000, according to Doritos.
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