Aussie sees his ad air during the Super Bowl but misses out on $1m prize in Doritos comp

Doritos Crash the superbowlThe Australian who made the final of Doritos final Crash the Super Bowl competition saw his ad aired on national TV in the US today, despite being pipped to the post in the public vote by a rival.

While Peter Carstairs missed out on the million dollar prize package Doritos was so impressed with his ad it decided to splash an estimated $5m to show it during the Super Bowl alongside the winning entry ‘Dogs’, while the ‘Ultrasound’ ad came third overall on the publicly-voted USA Today ad meter.

It was also the most-shared ad of the Super Bowl according to measurement agency Unruly, with 893,465 shares, more than twice second placed-T-Mobile’s Restricted Bling starring rap artist Drake with 364,854.

And Carstairs’ effort which was created with the help of creative agency Cummins & Partners and production house Mr Smith, showing a baby enticed unexpectedly out of a woman’s womb during an ultrasound by the lure of Doritos, has already caused a ruckus on social media with people split between pro and anti-abortion activists in the US.

Speaking from San Francisco where he attended the Super Bowl, Carstairs told Mumbrella: “I like the other two campaigns a lot. But the strong emotional connection is what has sent ours viral i.e. laughter.”

“I had seen fellow Australians Tom Noakes and Armand De Saint-Salvy get into the finals in previous years so it was kind of on my radar. But then Helene Nicol, the producer at Mr Smith, saw a call to enter somewhere online which she forwarded to me. And it said it was the last year, so we immediately thought it’s now or never.”

With Carstairs directing the team at Mr Smith put together a number of ideas before that settled on the entry, one of just three finalists and two which were actually aired during the broadcast among dozens of ads by some of America’s biggest advertisers. Cummins & Partners was also involved in the process.

Peter Carstairs at the Super Bowl today

Peter Carstairs at the Super Bowl today

“They actually came up with three ideas but this one just hit home with me – largely because of the potentially outrageous ending, but also because there is something there that really rings true about the different ways men and women experience childbirth.”

The ad has suffered some social media backlash since being aired on national TV in the US, but it has also received more than 60 million views on Youtube.

“In terms of the social media campaign, we had never run anything like it before,” he said.

“So, initially we were trying to direct people to the Doritos voting site. But about half way through the campaign we shifted our focus to Facebook because it could visibly snowball on Facebook (where it couldn’t at the Doritos site). Plus we could engage with the users really easily. Eventually Doritos also noticed that and moved to Facebook themselves.”

Australians have made the finals of the competition in the past, but this was the first time an Australian-made ad was actually aired during the big game.

However, the fan vote went the way of the American-made commercial featuring dogs.

Carstairs said that even though he and the team at Mr Smith missed out on the million dollars, the effort to create the commercial had been worth it.

“Well for me one of my motivations for doing this was to do another comedy,” he said.

“I really love good advertising and believe that humour can provide that emotional connection; so it sells. So I guess my thing is to do more work like this. I also have another feature film in development that is getting closer to being ready. But that’s a slow process. As for Mr Smith think this is just part of their philosophy of finding creative projects and getting them done.”

The ad has also prompted interest from US producers in his talents and Doritos has also asked him to complete another project on the back of the ad.

“There’s been a bit of interest from LA and also Mr Smith has fielded quite a few scripts from Australia that I just couldn’t do because of the deadlines,” he said.

“I haven’t had room to breathe in the last month. But when this finally is all wrapped up I think I need a week off then it will be back to business as usual.”

In terms of the social success the Ultrasound ad was by far the most successful, with The Dogs ad not making the top 10 most shared videos list.

Budwieser, which has traditionally dominated the top 10 most shared videos, lost its top rank for the first time in three years, with its ad featuring Helen Mirren delivering a stern drink driving message ranked at number three with 301,317 shares.

“Despite a number of brands releasing their ads early online, this year has seen a significant decrease in sharing activity from the previous year,” a spokesperson for Unruly said.

“The top 10 ads have so far generated 2,889,156 shares online altogether – a 36% decrease on what the top 10 managed at the same time last year (4,485,297) and only slightly higher than in 2014 (2,460,075).

“While Doritos took the number one position, T-Mobile managed to get more ads in the top 10 than any other brand. Both the extended and 30-second versions of “Restricted Bling” starring rapper Drake,  feature in the top 10, while “Drop The Balls” was in ninth – despite only being released online yesterday.”

If you missed the Super Bowl ads you can catchup with them all here in our live blog of the big game.

Top 10 most shared ads of Super Bowl 2016

1. Doritos – ‘Ultrasound

Agency: Peter Carstairs

Total shares: 893,465

2. T-Mobile – Restricted Bling (Extended Version)

Agency: Publicis Seattle

Total Shares: 346,854

3. Budweiser #Give a Damn

Agency: Anomaly

Total shares: 301,317

4. Pokemon – “#Pokemon20: Pokémon Super Bowl Commercial”

Agency: Omelet

Total shares: 297,706

5. Heinz – Wiener Stampede” (Extended Version)

Agency: DAVID Miami

Total shares: 295,805

6. Hyundai – First Date

Agency: Innocean Worldwide

Total shares: 245,656

7. Mountain Dew – #PuppyMonkeyBaby

Agency: BBDO

Total shares: 158,481

8. T-Mobile – Restricted Bling (30 Sec)

Agency: Publicis Seattle

Total shares – 124,551

9. T-Mobile – “Drop the Balls

Agency: Publicis Seattle

Total shares – 113,668

10. Heinz – Wiener Stampede 30 sec

Agency: DAVID Miami

Total shares 111,643

Source: Unruly Analytics.

Simon Canning


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.