Consumer-Created Doritos Ad Ranked Most-Popular Commercial of Super Bowl XLVI; Creator Wins $1 Million

The Doritos brand announced that its consumer-created Doritos commercial “Man’s Best Friend,” which aired for the first time nationally during yesterday’s Super Bowl XLVI broadcast, ranked No. 1 in USA TODAY’s annual Super Bowl Ad Meter. Doritos, one of the flagship brands from PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division, is now awarding the ad’s creator, Jonathan Friedman with a $1 million cash bonus prize.

The win for “Man’s Best Friend” marks the third time in Super Bowl advertising history that a consumer-created Doritos commercial has topped the USA TODAY Ad Meter rankings. In addition to “Man’s Best Friend,” “Sling Baby” also received airtime during Sunday night’s game. Created by Kevin T. Willson, “Sling Baby” scored No. 4 on the Ad Meter.

The two consumer-created Doritos ads that aired Sunday were among five finalists selected by the Doritos brand from more than 6,100 total submissions. Consumer votes determined one of the winners, while the Doritos brand selected the other. As part of this year’s contest, both Friedman and Willson also were awarded one of the most exciting grand prizes to date: a guaranteed opportunity to work on a future Doritos project with one of the hottest entertainment teams in the industry today — the award-winning trio of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone that make up The Lonely Island.

“We are thrilled for both of our winners and excited to award our third million-dollar bonus prize in four years,” said Tony Matta, vice president of marketing, Frito-Lay North America. “We know their success tonight is just the beginning for both of their careers.”

Friedman, a freelance graphic designer and musician, spent just $20 to buy dog treats, a cat collar and a bag of Doritos tortilla chips to film “Man’s Best Friend.” He borrowed a friend’s dog, Huff, and labored through multiple takes as the 120-pound Great Dane resisted in his new acting gig. Finally, after bribing Huff with treat after treat, Friedman got the shots he wanted to create his ad, which stars a dog that bribes a man with Doritos tortilla chips to cover up what he’s done with the neighbor’s cat.

A former special education teacher, Willson left his steady job in 2005 to pursue his lifelong dream of comedy film production. With the airing of “Sling Baby” during Super Bowl XLVI, he is now that much closer to fulfilling his dream. The spot tells an underdog story of a grandma and baby who team up to take down the bully on the jungle gym and re-claim a bag of Doritos tortilla chips.

This year marked the sixth anniversary of Crash the Super Bowl and proved to be the most popular yet, attracting a record-setting number of fan submissions and generating an unprecedented level of consumer votes. Since the contest began in 2007, consumer-created Doritos ads have consistently ranked within the top-five spots of the traditional USA TODAY Ad Meter, and three of the last four years they have scored the No. 1 ranking.

As part of this year’s competition, all five finalists received $25,000 and a trip to attend Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis. Bonus cash prizes were based on how each winning ad ranked in the traditional USA TODAY Ad Meter, and on future rankings on the soon-to-be decided USA TODAY Facebook Super Bowl Ad Meter. The payouts for both meters are as follows:

  • $1 million awarded for an ad that scores the No. 1 spot on either the USA TODAY Ad meter or the USA TODAY Facebook Super Bowl Ad Meter
  • $600,000 awarded for an ad that scores the No. 2 spot on either the USA TODAY Ad meter or the USA TODAY Facebook Super Bowl Ad Meter
  • $400,000 awarded for an ad that scores the No. 3 spot on either the USA TODAY Ad meter or the USA TODAY Facebook Super Bowl Ad Meter
  • Each winning consumer finalist is only eligible to receive one cash bonus prize and the amount will be determined by the Ad Meter in which the commercial receives the highest spot. The final cash bonus prizes will be determined once the results of the USA TODAY Facebook Super Bowl Ad Meter are announced on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012.