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$13 Super Bowl Ad Wins Contest, Airs In First Quarter

Frank Ahrens

Only a few months ago, Wes Phillips was a 22-year-old audio-visual equipment installer in North Carolina who had a vague idea about starting an advertising agency. So he formed a partnership with his best buddy, Dale Backus, 21.

A few minutes ago, they got their first real ad seen by as many as 90 million viewers in the first quarter of the Super Bowl.

Their ad features a guy driving a car, eating a bag of Doritos, distracted by an attractive woman walking by, also eating Doritos. Wackiness, bent sheet metal and love ensue.

As many as four ads in tonight's Super Bowl have been created by amateurs, as the YouTube Effect creeps into advertising. Phillips said he and his buddies spent $12.96 to make the ad. Other advertisers who paid as much as $1 million to produce a 30-second Super Bowl ad must feeling about as smart as the Indianapolis Colts coverage team on the game's kickoff.

I wrote about Phillips's ad last week as an entry in a contest Doritos held to let amateurs produce a Super Bowl ad.

When I talked to Phillips, he was one of five finalists out of more than 1,000 submissions. He was a little overwhelmed at being chosen as a finalist; he hadn't really comprehended the possibility of winning the competition or the $10,000 prize.

Now, Phillips and his brother, Barrett (the nascent ad agency's Web designer), Backus and fourth buddy Nick Dimondi (co-star of the ad; Backus's wife, Cori, also stars) have joined the elite club of advertising creators who have cracked their (new) profession's biggest stage.

And, come Monday, I'm guessing their ad agency -- 5 Point Productions -- should have a client or two.

By Frank Ahrens  |  February 4, 2007; 6:43 PM ET  | Category:  Frank Ahrens
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So, where's the link to the spot?

Posted by: Link? | February 5, 2007 7:43 AM

I don't understand how it only cost them $12 to make a commercial. Presumably they had the equipment and everything on hand? What is included in the production costs? The actors were volunteers? The clothes and car their own? What did the $12 actually go to? I can't wrap my head around it.

Posted by: DJ | February 5, 2007 10:30 AM

The $12 bucks prob went to purchasing the bags of Doritos they used.

Posted by: -j- | February 5, 2007 10:36 AM

Video tape and postage, I'd imagine.

Posted by: Ravenwood | February 5, 2007 10:37 AM

Hey, Link and others:

First, here's the link to the ad:

Second, we ran some funny pictures that the winning team took of them filming the ad with the story I wrote in the newspaper.

For instance: They borrowed one of their parents' minivan to film one shot.

One of the guys put on inline skates and hung on to the outside of a moving car to film another scene.

They already owned the digital video camera.

They had to buy the Doritos and rig the bags to spew chips. That's pretty much it.

Posted by: Frank Ahrens | February 5, 2007 11:35 AM

All the ads can be seen at the AOL website (I'm not usually a big AOL fan but this is cool). "Car wash" is my favorite...

Posted by: Susie Foster | February 5, 2007 11:45 AM

Let's learn how to spell "nauseam."

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