“Power of the Crunch” was one of five top ads selected by Doritos maker Frito-Lay from nearly 2,000 submissions, and voted on by consumers for the chance to air during this year’s Super Bowl broadcast. Thousands of fans voted at www.SnackStrongProductions.com between January 5 and January 25 to determine the winner.
Each of the five finalists received a $25,000 prize – and also vied for a $1 million bonus prize from Doritos if a fan-made Super Bowl ad took the top spot in USA TODAY’s Ad Meter. “Free Doritos,” created by Joe Herbert, did just that, landing in #1 on the Ad Meter. However, due to overwhelming enthusiasm and feedback from fans across the country, Doritos chose to also air Heimbold’s “Power of the Crunch” during the Super Bowl.
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.
“Power of the Crunch” is a comedic take on the idea that people are corrupted by ultimate power. A young man enjoying a bag of Doritos finds that his every wish comes true – from a rip-away dress on an unsuspecting woman walking by to cash flying out of an ATM machine – until he ultimately self-destructs when he runs out of the tasty snack.
To view the spot, please visit
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.
“Everyone’s support and willingness to help me realize this dream were invaluable,” notes Heimbold. [Line Producer] Ted Robbins was instrumental in keeping everything on track and organized the day of the shoot. We had a lot of material to cover. Nic Chatfield, a good friend, stepped up and played the role of our protagonist. We had talented filmmaking, art and costume crews that pulled all of their resources and skills together within a tight timeframe. Cinematographer Tony Molina and editor Oliver Power were also key in helping to create a fantastic end product.”
Heimbold and Molina chose to shoot on the RED camera, which was donated by SIM Video, citing its ability to produce beautiful cinematic footage indistinguishable from 35mm film.
“I’m enormously proud of our spot,” concludes Heimbold. “I think it looks awesome. It was such an honor to be part of the finalist group. All of the filmmakers are brilliant and nice people, too. Doritos was so supportive, and treated us like family. It was inspiring to watch them in motion – they didn’t shy away from any challenges and were driven by their teamwork and love for one another. I’m excited to see what they come up with next!”
Production Company:Wild Plum
Director: Eric Heimbold
Executive Producer: Shelby Sexton
Line Producer: Ted Robbins
Head Of Production: *Sandy Haddad
DP: Tony Molina
Production Designer: Danielle Clemenza
Wardrobe: Marco Morante
Make-Up: Ashley Adams
Editorial and Post: Sixty Hertz
Editor: Oliver Power
Lead FX Artist: Dan Pierse
Colorist: Claude Shires
Producer: Suzy Ramirez