Aussie filmmaker hoping to crash the Super Bowl
For seven years running, Doritos enthusiasts have been invited to try their hand at filmmaking and create a thirty second commercial for the cheesy triangular snack to be played during the NFL Super Bowl. The Doritos ‘Crash the Super Bowl’ competition this year extended its invitation to include all their fans outside of the United States to enter as well.
Thousands of entries were sent in from over thirty different countries and now the competition has been whittled down to five finalists. One of which is a commercial created by Australian Tom Noakes, entitled Finger Cleaner.
In Noakes’ preferred style of ‘oddball’ comedy, Finger Cleaner is about a bizarre invention that can be used to clean the flavoursome orange stains appearing on one’s fingers post Doritos consumption. The twist in the tail of the video is unnervingly hilarious and could well be the key component that caused Finger Cleaner to stand out from its fellow entries and reach the final stage of the competition.
“Perhaps [the judges] really liked the invention of the Finger Cleaner and are looking to patent it?” Noakes joked with IF. “In all honesty, I’m sure [the ad’s success] has something to do with playing into the sensibilities of a younger and open-minded Doritos eating crowd with an unexpected twist. It’s a kind of, ‘oh wow, they actually really went there,’ comedy that has no doubt worked in our favour.”
An ad director from Sydney, Noakes has been directing commercials for approximately four years, establishing his directing career after completing post-graduate studies at AFTRS.
The only non-American amongst the five finalists, Noakes found inspiration for Finger Cleaner from a distinctly Australian figure. “I was watching the recent Australian Federal Elections,” he said, “The debates were taking place and Abbott was raging against Rudd. I was overcome with the sudden urge to turn off the volume and just stare deeply into Abbott’s bottomless eyes. Bam! Next minute I’m scribing at breakneck speed what was to be coined the Finger Cleaner script.”
From the casting stage through to uploading the video to the competition (with just an hour to spare until deadline, according to Noakes), the whole production took about three weeks. Noakes names casting as one of the most integral and the most challenging parts of the process. “It’s always a battle, especially when you are looking for people who can nail comedy,” Noakes told IF. “It’s not often you can say that you really won, but in this case we did. The cast were truly outstanding and I owe them my infinite gratitude.”
Another Sydney-sider, Casey Schweikert, was also successful in the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl competition, managing to reach the semi-finals with her commercial, Body Cast. Body Cast shows an evil little boy tormenting a hospitalized man in a full body cast.
Schweikert had a helpful team who worked together to make the project happen. “We really weren’t sure if we’d be able to pull it off until we saw it through the camera,” she said. “Everyone was happy to pitch in building the set in the morning and helping out with things they wouldn’t normally do which was great.”
“We had no idea we’d make it in with so many submissions and a few real standouts. We were so stoked to make the semi’s,” Schweikert said, “I think we’ve achieved what we set out to do.”
The finalist and semi-finalist commercials can all be viewed on www.doritos.com. There, fans can also vote for their favourite finalist from now up until January 29th.
Ultimately two winning commercials will be aired to a global television audience during the broadcast of the Super Bowl XLVII on Febrauary 2nd on FOX. One winner will be chosen by fan votes and the other by the Doritos brand team. Both winners will also have the opportunity to work alongside Marvel Studios on the set of Marvel’s The Avengers: The Age of Ultron. Finally, the entrant whose commercial receives the most fan votes will win US$1million in prize money, the runner up will receive US$50,000 and the three remaining finalists will receive US$25,000.
You can see 'Finger Cleaner' below.