Doritos rated number 5 on the USA Today Super Bowl Ad meter* in 2009 with “Power of the Crunch”, a commercial awarded runner up in the “Crash the Super Bowl” program. The spot, voted on by consumers at www.snackstrongproductions.com in January, was directed by Eric Heimbold, an emerging film director. Heimbold won $25,000 for the spot, while Joe and Dave Herbert, representing the “Doritos Crystal Ball” team won $1 million for topping the Super Bowl ad meter.
“Power of the Crunch” is a comedic take on the idea that people are corrupted by ultimate power. A young man, played by Nic Chatfield, discovers that he can make his wishes come true simply by crunching on Doritos. It begins with a rip-away dress on an unsuspecting woman walking by, continues with cash flying out of an ATM machine. The plot comes unstuck for the cruncher when he runs out of Doritos.
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Eric Heimbold, a graduate of the film department at Pasadena Art Center College of Design, was hoping to challenge himself as a filmmaker and to create work that would be appreciated in a well-structured public forum. Time and budget were tight, which meant being creative with his resources and pulling in favors from friends.
“The idea that you can make your own spot with a potential run on the Super Bowl was very enticing,” says Heimbold. “Conceptually, I wanted to tell a story that’s edgy and funny – and inspired conversation. This project also enabled me to use the skill sets I’ve gained from my work in music videos in terms of storytelling and finding creative solutions.”
Heimbold, who self-financed the commercial, elicited help from his old school friends and crews whom he previously collaborated with on music videos for the hit show “American Idol.” Wild Plum, which currently reps Heimbold as a director, provided additional production support. The one-day shoot in downtown Los Angeles required previsualization and detailed organization, particularly for the VFX shots.
The Crash the Superbowl campaign was developed at Goodby Silverstein & Partners.
Power of the Crunch was directed by Eric Heimbold via Wild Plum, with executive producer Shelby Sexton, line producer Ted Robbins, head of production Sandy Haddad, director of photography Tony Molina, production designer Danielle Clemenza, wardrobe manager Marco Morante and make up supervisor Ashley Adams.
Editorial and Post production work was done at Sixty Hertz by editor Oliver Power, lead FX artist Dan Pierse, colorist Claude Shires, producer Suzy Ramirez.
* The USA TODAY Super Bowl Ad Meter tracks the second-by-second responses of a panel of viewers to ads during the national broadcast of the Super Bowl and ranks them favorite to least favorite. Created in 1989, USA TODAY’s Ad Meter has been regarded as the most influential Super Bowl ad rating in the advertising industry.