10 Tips to Help You Win the $1 Million Doritos Superbowl Video Contest

PepsiCo is offering a million dollars to the best consumer-created 30-second spot, which will air during the Superbowl. The “Crash the Superbowl” campaign. Five finalists will receive $25,000 and a trip to the Superbowl.

Should you enter? Sure if you’ve got a killer idea, and are prepared for stiff competition. While many contests languish, these Doritos campaigns tend to have large media campaigns that result in entries from quasi professionals looking to build credibility. So the odds are not in your favor.

Then again, the site has plenty of assets you can use, and there’s plenty of creative freedom for those entering. The Wall Street Journal says PepsiCo is after the pre-game buzz that helps offset the high cost of advertising. But I’d argue nothing tops the post-game buzz about the favorite ad. And if it’s a consumer one that tops recall, I’ll eat Doritos for a week.

But if you’re going to enter, here are some tips (from the guy that is perpetual runners-up on contests, but rarely wins).

  1. Stay with material you own. Don’t dare use anything copyrighted that will disqualify you.
  2. Go with a rugged look that says “amateur” rather than a polished look that says “cable TV ad.”
  3. Humor and sex sell. Put them together with music and you’ve got a winner.
  4. Keep it simple. Imagine the viewer is distracted, so use the first few seconds to draw them in.
  5. Don’t worry about selling Doritos. Make the ad entertaining and let the product take a support role to the creative idea.
  6. Go weird. Good Superbowl ads are weird and memorable.
  7. Try to remember a few Superbowl ads from years past. What made them stick out?
  8. Test it out on some people… maybe even post a draft on YouTube and see how people respond.
  9. Do NOT forget a big finish. That’s what makes an ad pop.
  10. Have fun and follow your instincts.

 And if you win, send me a friggin’ $100 for inspiring you, eh?

15 Replies to “10 Tips to Help You Win the $1 Million Doritos Superbowl Video Contest”

  1. You probably have to be over 18 to enter that contest, anyway. That is a sad path too many contests have taken that have stopped me before I even started.

    Not like I’d end up in even the top 100 anyway, but lets just pretend that I would have.

    (Hey! 4 “first comments” on this site in 1 day!!! Is it Christmas!?!)

  2. @2

    then the money goes to your dad…

    trust me, it’s easier to just create an entirely fake identity.

    of course… not that I would know from experience… FBI, I DO NOT CREATE FALSE IDENTITIES

    sorry, the FBI has offices a floor above where my father works…

  3. My brain is a nonstop idea factory, and I have a couple ideas that could probably win this. The problem is that to get the gear I’d need to make it happen, I’d probably have to drop another $15 grand.

    Anyone want to paypal that to me? I’ll pay ya back when I win, I swear!

  4. People often ask me: “Brett, did you just fart?”

    After I lie and say no, they then ask me why I don’t enter more contests with collaborators. I tell them, “Frankly, because the prize isn’t big enough to share.”

    However, even the $25K for the runners up would be a good one to split with someone, let alone a cool Mill.

    Anyone wants to get in on this with me, shoot me a note. If you’d prefer to go it alone, believe me, I’d completely understand.

  5. Oh, one note: To win the contest and have your spot go to air, yours has to be the highest vote-getter from among the finalists…. To actually get the million, I just read, you have to have your spot “get the top spot on the USA Today Ad Meter.”

    Ordinarily, I’m not wild about video contests whose prizes are contingent on votes, because it doesn’t necessarily mean the best spot wins… Besides, for reasons that still elude me, I’m not that popular on YouTube, so I NEVER get a lot of votes on these things. However, at $25K, I’m pretty sure I’m still gonna enter this one.

  6. @11…

    Jim, I collabed with an animator in FLA, and he and I have never even spoken… All the work done via e-mail, and we split $500

    It CAN be done… Let’s not rule anything out!


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