UI alumna in contest to debut commercial at Super Bowl

By Julian Scharman

Easily accessible user-created media has bestowed great power on the individual: the chance to produce their own Super Bowl commercial.

Kristin Dehnert, a 1991 alumna of the University living in Los Angeles, used her comedic wit to inch one of her four commercials into the top five of over a thousand submissions.

Dehnert first caught word of the “Crash the Super Bowl” contest from a close friend. After following up with a quick Web search, she became pleasantly surprised at the potential winnings.

“I saw that the winner of the competition would get (their commercial) aired during the Superbowl,” Dehnert said, “Which to me is sort of the ‘Mack Daddy’ of all stages to get your work on.”

Doritos’ “Crash the Super Bowl” contest, co-sponsored by Yahoo!, solicited web users to submit their own 30-second commercial.

People can vote for their favorite commercial on Doritos’ Web site, and the one with the most votes will be aired during Super Bowl XLI in February.

Contestants took advantage of the web-based video editing software on Jumpcut, a Yahoo! subsidiary, to manipulate and add music, logos and graphics to their video spot.

With the help of Dehnert’s eight-person production team, the crew produced four 30-second television spots and entered them into the competition.

The chosen spot for the final competition depicts a zealous grocery store “check out girl” and a customer buying Doritos. Joined by their love for the different flavors of Doritos chips, they engage in a dialogue full of verbal foreplay.

“I just got a kick out of the fact that there are so many different flavors of Doritos, like ‘Blazin Buffalo Ranch’ and ‘Salsa Verde,'” Dehnert said. “So I thought it would be fun to play off all those flavors and then to have a wacky interaction between two total strangers.”

Dehnert’s production cohort juggled the production of the four TV spots with their full-time day jobs for a total production time of three weeks.

A Chicago native and the only female finalist in the competition, Dehnert moved to Los Angeles ten years ago to actively pursue an interest in commercial script writing and production.

She produced the 30-second “Check Out Girl” spot in hopes to jump-start her career, she said.

“This competition will hopefully open some doors to help make directing my new day job,” said Dehnert.

Viewers can vote for their favorite commercial through January 19 at http://promotions.yahoo.com/doritos/ for the spot to be aired on February 4.