The chips are down

Huntington Beach family hopes son's Doritos ad, entered in contest, will screen during this year's Super Bowl.

January 18, 2012|By Michael Miller
  • Kevin Willson gets a hug from his mother Connie outside their home in Huntington Beach on Friday. Kevin made a Doritos commercial for an annual contest that chooses two winners to broadcast during the Super Bowl.
Kevin Willson gets a hug from his mother Connie outside… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

When the Super Bowl begins Feb. 5, it will be a tense time for the Willson family.

Huntington Beach residents Connie and Tom will watch the telecast at a local restaurant, while their son Kevin will experience the game live in Indianapolis. The suspense will start with the pregame show, grow more intense during the coin toss and may induce peals of sweat by halftime.

It's not that the Willsons have a family member in the game — or frankly, that they care which side wins at all. But when the TV cuts to a commercial break, they'll be fixated on the screen.

Kevin, a longtime documentary and commercial director, has a 30-second Doritos spot entered in Crash the Super Bowl, an annual contest in which filmmakers across the country compete for Super Bowl air time. Kevin's ad, titled "Sling Baby," is one of five finalists in the online voting contest, and he and his family will find out during the game if it made the cut.


"The game we care about is the commercials," said Kevin, who spent most of his childhood in Huntington Beach. "It's the exact opposite of what most football fans are doing."

Crash the Super Bowl, which got 6,100 submissions this year, will accept online votes for its five finalists through Jan. 29. The top vote-getter will play during the Super Bowl, while Doritos will choose a runner-up that will also show during the game.

The two winning Doritos ads will compete alongside all other Super Bowl commercials on the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter, in which people vote online during the game for their favorite ads. If one of the Doritos spots places first, second or third on the meter, its maker will be awarded $1 million, $600,000 or $400,000 respectively.

So while football fans nationwide are organizing betting pools and breaking out pennants for their favorite teams, the Willsons are conducting a rally of their own. The family has decorated its home on Ravenwood Lane with a banner and yard signs, and Connie, a preschool teacher, enlisted four neighborhood girls to bring fliers door to door asking people to vote for her son's video.

Kevin also screened the ad at Christ Lutheran School in Costa Mesa, where he gave a 20-minute seminar on filmmaking. And although Crash the Super Bowl has its own website, he's set up a personal one,, to help drum up support.

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