Nutmeg created a 30-second commercial titled "It's a Bag" for the Doritos "Crash the Super Bowl" contest in the hope of scoring a spot on the 2016 Super Bowl in addition to demonstrating Nutmeg's expanded capabilities: creative development, production and post. Nutmeg's contest entry for 2015 made it to the Top 30 semi-finals.
- Post Magazine featured Nutmeg's entry, "It's a Bag," in an in-depth article about the making of the spot that was promoted on the magazine's website homepage. It was the only contest entry Post featured.
Competing for a Ticket to the Super Bowl
In the sixth floor lobby of Nutmeg, producer Samantha Giovinco is trying to figure out how to put a diaper on a bag of Doritos. “It’s not something you can Google,” she says.
Several feet away, editor Rich Jack is lying on the floor of a small lounge that’s been transformed into a living room, doing his best to avoid an expanding swath of crushed orange corn chips as he points a flickering light meant to simulate the flicker of a television on the faces of two actors above him on a couch.
The two actors, Meredith Lynch and Greg Bell, are listening intently to director Dave Rogan. “I want you to really stuff your face this time,” Rogan instructs Lynch, who grabs a fistful of Doritos from an overflowing bowl Greg is holding and proceeds to, well, stuff her face.
“A little too loud,” interjects production sound mixer Andrew Guastella. “The rustling of the chips,” he adds. He adjusts the levels on the recording gear hanging from his neck and nods. Giovinco takes advantage of the pause to touch up Lynch’s makeup as producer Lauren Mullen steps in front of the camera. “Scene 1, cat, take two,” she says, snapping the slate.
Rogan looks at DP Carl Vasile, who nods imperceptibly. “Action!” says Rogan. Once again, Lynch crams a fistful of Doritos into her mouth. “You know, Amy,” says Greg dryly as shards of chips cascade over the couch, “sometimes I think you love Doritos more than you love me.” Lynch side-eyes him in disbelief. “That’s crazy!” she yells as tiny bright orange flecks go flying everywhere. She sinks back into the couch and gives just the slightest shrug of acknowledgement.
“Cut!” commands Rogan. “That was perfect!”
For the second year in a row, Nutmeg is producing a 30-second commercial for the Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” contest. Launched in 2006, “Crash the Super Bowl” has received more than 32,000 entries over the years. The winner sees their spot air during the Super Bowl and scores a one-million-dollar prize. Nutmeg’s entry for last year, shot on a shoestring one afternoon in the woods of Long Island, made it to the Top 30 semi-finals. This year’s entry, for the 10th and final edition of the contest (the winner of which will air during Super Bowl 50 on February 7, 2016), is more ambitious, a nearly all-staff-on-deck production filmed in Nutmeg’s midtown facility.
For Nutmeg, a production and post-production company that has expanded its services to include creative development, the entry is both a creative and a strategic endeavor. The stakes, as well as the potential rewards of winning the contest, are significant.
“It’s not about the one million dollars,” says Creative Director Dave Rogan. “That’s irrelevant. It’ll buy you a few parties.”
And it’s not even the other perk of winning—the opportunity to work with director Zach Snyder (“300,” “Man of Steel,” “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”), Warner Brothers and DC Comics on a future project.
“It’s the chance to tell the world that, for an ad that ran on the Super Bowl, we acted as the agency, the production company, the post-production company and the client,” says Rogan. “It’s the prestige and possible work that can come as a result of the exposure. How enticing for a brand advertiser to know that they don’t have to spend two million dollars to create a Super-Bowl-quality ad. We did it for two thousand.”
On the set at Nutmeg, the action switches to Edit Room 9, transformed by editor Brian Donnelly and chief technical engineer Jonathan Abrams into a hospital delivery room via an actual hospital bed and a vital signs monitor that displays realistic breathing, heart rate and blood pressure information courtesy of a looping animation created by editor Stephen Walsh.
The actors take their places. Doritos-loving Lynch, now about to give birth, is in the bed, flanked by two nurses played by associate producer Becca Quinn and producer Caroline Nixon. Editor Rich Jack, now in scrubs, is the doctor. In take after take, Lynch wails her way with abandon through labor and delivery. Make that special delivery—this is a Doritos commercial, after all, and Lynch’s bundle of joy is the spot’s punchline.
Kneeling on the floor just out of sight is Rogan, who alternately encourages Lynch to go for it and cracks up each time she actually does.
“She’s embarrass-proof!” he says.
And that, along with a lot of effort and a little bit of luck, just might be the ticket to the Super Bowl.
"How enticing for a brand advertiser to know that they don’t have to spend two million dollars to create a Super-Bowl-quality ad."Dave Rogan, Creative Director, Nutmeg
Writer/Director: Dave Rogan
Director of Photography: Carl Vasile
Lighting Directors: Carl Vasile, Brian Donnelly
Producer: Lauren Mullen, Samantha Giovinco
Sound Recordist, Sound Designer/Mixer: Andrew Guastella
Graphic Designer: Stephen Walsh
Technical Coordinators: Jonathan Abrams, Mark Spano
Colorist: Gary Scarpulla
Scheduler: Lauren Boyle
Amy: Meredith Lynch
Husband: Greg Bell
Doctor: Rich Jack
Nurse 1: Becca Quinn
Nurse 2: Caroline Nixon