KALAMAZOO—A Western Michigan University alumna has bagged one of five top spots in a national advertising campaign for Doritos for the fourth year in a row.
Heather Kasprzak, a 2005 graduate in film, video and media studies, is a finalist in the Doritos Crash Super Bowl challenge, competing for the chance to see her ad air during the Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 3, and the possibility of winning up to $1 million.
Her ad this year, "Road Chip," and her entry last year were created with her boyfriend, Tyler Dixon, who she met while both were Doritos finalists in 2011. Kasprzak, who has worked at Mattel making Hot Wheels commercials and videos for the company for more than five years, said her experience working with children for ads for Mattel helped her with casting and working with child actors for "Road Chip."
The most challenging part of the ad was coming up with an original idea, as Doritos receives about 6,000 original ads each year for the contest. She said the idea for "Road Chip," a quip about a backseat power struggle between a toddler and her dog over the last Dorito chip, came to them as she and Dixon were driving.
"You want it to have general appeal, and for the past couple of years, dogs and babies have done very well with the public," she said. "You know you have a good idea when it just works."
History of success
Her first venture into the contest was in 2010 when she was assistant director for "Casket," which aired during the Super Bowl and was ranked by Neilsen as the No. 1 "Most-Recalled" spot. In 2011 and 2012, the commercials she produced, "Birthday Wish" and “Dog Park,” ranked in the top five out of 6,000 submissions. Doritos purchased them and aired them nationally.
The ad this year, in which Kasprzak is not only a co-director but also an actor, can be viewed at doritosroadchip.com. Online voting for the most popular ad out of the top five continues through Tuesday, Jan. 29, for a chance to air during the Super Bowl.
That winning ad will go head-to-head against all product spots aired during the game for a chance to win $1 million in the USA Today Ad Meter and work with director and producer Michael Bay on the next "Transformers" movie.
A native of Marquette, Mich., Kasprzak now lives in Los Angeles. She started at WMU majoring in dance because she enjoys performing. Besides her work for Mattel, she produces and submits shorts to film festivals, with the goal of eventually working in film.