Salute’s Jimmy Cosgrove, Andy Rizzo and company became fast Seattle Seahawks fans late Thursday night when four members of the Super Bowl championship ball team stopped for something to eat at the popular Hartford restaurant.
Special visitors who were reportedly headed to ESPN Friday included wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, linebacker Bobby Wagner, defensive lineman Cliff Avril, and defensive end/tackle Michael Bennett, all reportedly so happy with their food that they posed for a picture.
And what did they chow down on?
According to their waitress Rachel Spellman, (who did a crash course on the Seahawks when she learned at 11 p.m. that they were coming in) dinner included chicken and broccoli alfredo, shrimp piccata, lobster pinchiori, mussels, a couple of salads and of course Salute’s famed garlic bread.
Spellman was tactful saying the very nice group of customers was ’more than fair’ when it came to tip time, but word is that tip was a very generous 50 percent of the bill.
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.”
The Super Bowl game between the Ravens and the 49ers was barely minutes old when former Simsbury residents Ben Holst and his wife Katie, were celebrating in Atlanta, Georgia.
And it had nothing to do with football. It had all to do with the 2013 ”Crash the Super Bowl” contest sponsored each year by Doritos.
“My wife and I were just sitting here watching the game,” said an excited Holst who was reached Sunday night at his Atlanta home. “Even if we don’t win the big prize it is amazing that so many millions of people are seeing our ad. It so caught me off guard when I saw the ad come on so early in the game.”
“Goat 4 Sale” was one of the two finalist ads to be aired on the mother of all nights when it comes to advertising and of course, football. It is the comical tale of a snack food-obsessed pet goat who, when denied his Doritos fix, turns on his owner. Five ads were chosen as finalists but it was not revealed ahead of time which two would actually be aired.
The 30-second goat ad was created by a team that include Holst, fellow former Simsbury resident, friend and business partner Jeremy Gilbertson and Georgia director Ben Callner.
One of the Doritos ads that appeared during today’s game was selected by the Doritos team and the other by an America votes contest that ran on Facebook the past few weeks. Whichever filmmaker has the highest-ranking commercial on the USA Today Ad Meter ranking will receive a million dollars and a job working with famed director Michael Bay on Transformers 4.
In 1995, Simsbury High School senior Ben Holst was a self-described crazy guy who sat at different lunch tables, loved the annual Battle of the Bands competition and performed in some one-act plays.
Now the University of Georgia grad and owner of an Georgia-based audio production and music composition company is part of a group on the cusp of advertising fame.
Holst, along with friend, business partner and fellow Simsbury High alum Jeremy Gilbertson and Georgia director Ben Callner, have produced a 30-second ad that is one of five finalists in a Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl Competition” online fan contest. The winning entry will be aired during the Feb. 3 Super bowl.
“We aren’t going to know who wins until that day when it appears on tv,” said Holst, who explained the winner will be determined by online votes. “As far as exposure, an ad during the Super Bowl is as good as it gets when it comes to advertising. It’s better than having your song played on the radio.”
Titled “Goat 4 Sale,” the very funny ad features a goat that eats through more than one hundred of bags of Doritos much to the annoyance of its owner who hides the snacks and prepares to sell the goat. (Java won’t spoil the ending.)
Married to Simsbury native Katie Colpitts, Holst, whose parents Jim and Valarie Holst still live in Simsbury, is asking Connecticut and beyond to cast the allowed two votes per day to help the group win.
“I was lucky that in high school. Simsbury had a great electronic music program,” he said about his interest and career in the business. “Simsbury High is where I cut my teeth thanks to chorus director Steve Barnicle who was encouraging and let us mess around with electronic music before it was popular.”
And while Holst has done other work with Callner, he admitted this piece was different in that it included a new craving for the salty snack food.
“Actually we like Doritos, especially since we listened to Doritos crunches for over 20 hours in the recording studio to finalize the 30 second piece,” he said laughing. “You listen to it long enough and you get hungry for them.”
While Callner will be at the Super Bowl, Holst said he and Gilbertson will be hosting a bowl party in Georgia where the game will be more about the ads than the showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens.
Actually neither team he was rooting for made it to the Super Bowl, said Holst, admitting he was hoping for Atlanta Falcons to make the grade with the New England Patriots as his back-up team.
To see “Goat 4 Sale” and cast votes by Jan. 29 go here.