Simsbury High School grads Ben Holst and Jeremy Gilbertson may not have won the million dollars in the annual Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” ad competition, but they did get some really good exposure when it comes to the kind of work they do.
The ad “Goat 4 Sale,” created by the two with director Ben Callner, was one of two submissions in the online Doritos contest that was aired during the Super Bowl, considered the primo super showcase for ads.
Theirs aired early on in the game between the winning Ravens and the 49ers. In the USA Today Ad Meter contest, based on online votes, “Goat 4 Sale” ranked seventh overall when it came to viewer popularity.
But it wasn’t good enough.
Doritos only pays out the $1 million top prize and other cash prizes if the snack chip ads grab the one, two or three top rankings based on votes.
According to USA Today, the second Doritos finalist that aired, “Fashionista Dad” ranked a bit better at fifth in overall popularity. First, second and third place winners respectively were Anheuser-Busch “Horse and Trainer Reunited,” Tide’s “Miracle Stain” and RAM’s “Farmers” featuring Paul Harvey’s voice.
But Holst, a University of Georgia graduate who owns the Atlanta-based audio production and music composition company that worked on the 30-second ad, was still happy. Especially when he and his wife, Katie, tuned into the game and saw the ad within the first few minutes of play.
“I’ve never been a sports guy but just seeing the ad on TV caught me off-guard,” said Holst. Doritos did not alert the five finalists ahead of time as to whose ads would be shown. “Just that the ad aired before millions of people was exciting.”