The next Transformers movie could have an unlikely film credit: yours.
Doritos, the Frito-Lay brand that has embraced the Super Bowl as the salty snack's sweet spot for consumer-generated commercials, on Wednesday will announce plans to seriously boost the booty in its seventh annual Crash the Super Bowl contest.
Doritos will link up with one of Hollywood's most successful directors, Michael Bay, whose Transformers films have created a movie empire.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon, ranks as the fifth-highest-grossing movie of all time by raking in $1.2 billion at the box office. Bay also directed Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Bad Boys and The Rock.
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The consumer who creates the top-ranked Doritos commercial aired during the Super Bowl -- as determined by USA TODAY'S Ad Meter consumer poll of best-liked Super Bowl commercials -- wins the chance to work with Bay on the next installment of the Transformers movie franchise, to be filmed in 2013.
In an age of social-media hype and online overload, marketers are increasingly looking for ways to stand out. With this PR-seeking promo, Doritos aims to not only break through the Super Bowl clutter but to add another notch to its recent history of generating some of the Super Bowl's top commercials.
If a Doritos spot tops the USA TODAY Ad Meter, the creator also wins $1 million.
"Crash the Super Bowl has become a cultural phenomenon," says Ram Krishnan, vice president of marketing at Frito-Lay. The trick is to add new twists to it each year.
To appeal to those who aren't that interested in creating or directing commercials or films, this year Doritos also is giving consumers a chance to go to the promo's Facebook page and offer the use of their homes, their cats or even themselves to appear in the two consumer-created spots.
Five finalists for the Crash the Super Bowl contest will be announced in January 2013. Then, fans vote online for their favorites. The top two will be broadcast during the game on CBS on Feb. 3, 2013.
"Doritos becomes its own American Idol when it gives the underdog a shot at the big leagues," says brand consultant Steven Addis.
But brand guru Peter Madden has another suggestion for Doritos: Instead of pitting consumers against each other, why not pit the nation's top five directors against each other, with consumers picking the winner?
"I wonder if their respective egos could handle losing," asks Madden. "And I wonder if even a powerhouse company like Frito-Lay would have the marketing budget to get them all involved."