The Art of Collaboration and the Making of “FASHIONISTA DADDY” See Also, CBS Names ‘Sling Baby’ #5 on their ‘Greatest Super Bowl Commercials of All Time’
Of the nearly 5,000 commercials submitted to Doritos, five were chosen as finalists for the $1M grand prize, including our spot “Fashionista Daddy.” Here’s the story behind the story.
The Super Bowl. Every year over 100M people watch the big game, but if you’re like me, the competing teams are always a side attraction. (Unless one of those teams is the New England Patriots.) For many, the real draw is the commercials.
Typically the Super Bowl audience is a Christmas gift for advertisers – a huge dedicated audience that will reliably judge, re-watch, talk about, blog, tweet, and Facebook about the ads, sometimes for months afterwards. It creates brand awareness, which substantiates the millions of dollars that are usually spent on the creation and promotion of these ads.
An Incredible Opportunity… and risk!
A few years ago, Doritos started an innovative contest called Crash the Super Bowl, which invited “average joes” to create their own Super Bowl commercials. Every year, five finalists compete for a limited number of slots during the game, as well as a possible $1M grand prize. Usually the public chooses at least one of the commercials that will air during the game, via online voting – an innovative way to engage consumers in both creating and promoting the Doritos brand.
The contest is a huge opportunity for filmmakers, though it carries obvious risk – you’re pulling favors, asking friends to work for free, and investing weeks of time-consuming work, all for a result that is highly unlikely. (Each of the past three years, at least 5,000 commercials have been submitted, which makes the chance of just making the finals 000.1%.) But the possible rewards are huge — where else do you have the opportunity for 100M+ people to see your work? The $1M grand prize isn’t bad either.
This year nearly 5,000 “spec” commercials were submitted. Of those, five have been chosen as finalists – including a spot called “Fashionista Daddy” that I produced and created with my friends Mark Freiburger, Gabe Trevino, Nate Daniels, and a talented and hardworking team of young, hungry filmmakers.
The Power of Collaboration
Our entry was a true collaboration. Mark and I are friends and independent filmmakers who had talked in June about teaming up on some Doritos spots. However, we both had projects pending that could have kept us busy come fall, and weren’t sure if we would have the time. However, by September those projects hadn’t materialized. In September my friend Nate Daniels asked if I was planning to enter the Doritos contest. I promptly called Mark to see if he was still in. He was, and when I called my friend Gabe Trevino, the circle was complete. Within a week the four of us were sitting around a table, pitching ideas. Gabe had two concepts that we all thought were great, and within a month we had put together a team of talented friends and were shooting in and around my home in Glendale.
In life and in art, you always have to keep an open hand. “Fashionista Daddy” provided some great examples of this. Gabe had originally conceived of the spot as a tea party, but when we got some questions about whether the idea was a little “been there, done that,” Mark and I quickly dreamed up a princess fashion show that had the two of us laughing out loud. This revamp only came eight days before shooting however, but fortunately Nate and Gabe went for it. On the set, Cazzey (our burly wedding-dress-wearer) was originally supposed to wipe his hands on the dress – but since the gown was a rental (and our budget was only $300), we couldn’t risk damaging it.
Mark and I quickly side-barred and came back with a couple of solutions that we thought were solid, all of which were trumped by Cazzey’s hilarious improv – when asked by Joanne (the mom character) whether he was wearing her wedding dress, he replied, “Could be.” The off-the-cuff response had us all in stitches — a great example of the spirit of collaboration and camaraderie (famously rare in Hollywood) that permeated our production.
Another example of being open-handed is in how we’ve chosen to deal with our winnings. As a team we committed from the beginning to give away ten percent of anything we win, as a recognition of the fact that a victory isn’t about grabbing success for ourselves — it’s about being generous with what we’ve been given.
We Could Really Use Your Help
Now here we are, with the chance of airing during the Super Bowl. But in order to accomplish this feat, we once again find ourselves seeking collaboration – this time with the general public, who has the power to choose which two Doritos commercials will air during the game. We need people to support us by voting daily on Facebook, and helping us achieve not just the goal of airing during the Super Bowl, but also of proving that collaboration is a more powerful element for success than competition.
If you want to be a part of our journey, please visit our website at www.fashionistadaddy.com; to vote, check out our Facebook page at http://bit.ly/VoteFashionistaDaddy. (You’ll have to download the free Doritos Crash the Super Bowl app.) You can vote twice a day, once on a computer, once on a smartphone.
Please team up with us! We need your help!
We could never thank you enough.
Nathan Scoggins is an award-winning writer and director who lives in L.A. He’s written projects for Lionsgate, Jenkins Entertainment, Sodium Entertainment, and Five Stone Media. Several of his award-winning short films are available on DVD.