The Making Of: Doritos Crash The Super Bowl Commercial
As you may or may not know, for the last few years Doritos has hosted an open contest where anyone can submit a 30 second ad for a chance for the ad to be featured during the Super Bowl.
Well this year we at Three Post decided to throw our hat into the ring. We saw it as a “hey – why not” sort of thing that with a low-risk/high-reward outcome.
Although our ad didn’t win – we thought we’d walk you through our process of producing the commercial.
Trying to find time to produce our Doritos commercial was one of the most difficult aspects of the entire process. We had to work to carve out a few late nights in the office to just spitball and brainstorm ideas.
We came up with some pretty wild and off-the-wall concepts — a few of which we’ll probably keep in our back pocket for other projects down the road. These ideas ranged in scope for very simple and cheap to expensive and time-consuming. Of course we wanted to do something HUGE, but at the end of the day we also had to be practical.
We felt that the concept we decided to run with stood as a great homage to one of our favorite movies — and one of the reasons why we got into storytelling in the first place.
The premise would mirror the classic scene in ‘Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” where Dr. Jones swapped the golden fertility idol of a small bag of sand.
After settling on a premise, we had to figure out how we were going to turn a 2-3 minute scene into a 30 second commercial.
We made a shot-for-shot storyboard with screenshots from the actual film. We then took blocking photographs in the house we planned to use for the shoot. Finally we matched those images to each other so that we would have a clear shot list prepared for the shoot.
Another critical aspect of this Doritos ad was the talent. Considering that our commercial didn’t have dialogue, it was imperative that we find actors that had the right look. We had decided to do our version of this classic scene with kids, so we needed two kids that could capture the energy. After watching a few test shots, we cast William as our bold adventurer and Ethan as his trusty sidekick.
The full-day shoot was captured by a Canon 5D Mark iii with both 24mm and 70-200mm lenses. We were shooting day-for-night — which means we filmed during the day, but had to make it look like nighttime — so we had to blackout any natural light and rely only on strategically placed lights. At any given time we had around 5-10 lights directed throughout the scene to capture just the right look.
Yeah, so we didn’t win. Kind of a bummer. But we sort of knew going into it that it was a long shot.
So what was the point? Why go through all the trouble to produce a commercial that you didn’t think would win?
Well we mainly did it as a way to practice our craft and exercise our storytelling muscle. It was a way for us to break free of the day-in-day-out of client work and produce something just for ourselves.
It was also a great excuse to eat bags and bags of Doritos.
So will we do it again next year? You bet!