Doritos is ending its Crash the Super Bowl ad contest after a decade-long run. The PepsiCo-owned brand will seek consumer-generated entries for a final time this year in the runup to Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7.
"We're giving consumers one last shot to make their mark and see their homemade ads air during the Super Bowl broadcast," Jeff Klein, VP of marketing at Frito-Lay, said in a statement. "This is truly last call for all of those who not only want a shot at $1 million — but want a chance to jump-start their career in Hollywood."
Asked why the brand is ending it now, Mr. Klein said in an emailed response that "Doritos has always been a brand that's been ahead of the curve, so after 10 years of success, the time was right to find that next great program." There is also a numerical significance to bowing out now: Super Bowl 50 comes as Doritos celebrates its 50th anniversary.
The contest -- first introduced in 2006 -- grew into a Super Bowl advertising mainstay. The winning ads typically relied on the same lowbrow devices -- including a plethora of pet tricks and sight gags. But the spots scored well almost every year in ad-ranking services.
The contest "took the control of Super Bowl advertising out of the hands of Madison Avenue ad executives and put it into the hands of everyday consumers," Doritos said in the statement, noting that the contest has led to some 32,000 consumer submissions since it started, while handing out more than $7 million in prize money. "We've had a tremendous run with the program," Mr. Klein said. "The Doritos brand sparked a marketing industry in terms of crowdsourcing. Crash the Super Bowl has played a major role in legitimizing consumer content."
Doritos has sought to freshen the contest every year with new gimmicks -- and this year is no different. Only one winning ad will air during the Super Bowl. In the past few years, the brand has aired two "Crash" ads.
The grand prize winner will also take home $1 million and get the chance to work with Warner Bros. Pictures, DC Entertainment and "collaborate" with Zack Snyder, director of the upcoming movie, "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice." The "career opportunity will be tailored to the contest winner's specific areas of interest," according to Doritos.
Two other finalists will each win a $100,000 prize and get "an opportunity to consult on an upcoming Doritos project," according to the brand. The brand will accept submissions through Nov. 15.