MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla. - Be careful what you wish for - you just might get it.
That's the idea behind Melbourne Beach brothers Joe and Vinnie Taranto's 30-second commercial that landed them in the finals of the Doritos' annual Crash the Super Bowl competition.
[Scroll below to see commercial]
The Taranto's have already won $25,000 and a trip to the Super Bowl for being finalists and now they are in the running to win up to $1 million and an opportunity to work with director Michael Bay on the next "Transformers" movie.
The brothers said they never expected their commercial to be picked as a finalist.
"Even after they called, we kept asking, ‘Is this for real?' " said Joe Taranto to Florida Today. Taranto is 31 and living in Los Angeles now while he completes a master's degree in film and television at Loyola Marymount University.
"This is a major opportunity for us, career-wise. The chance of having one of my works to air next to theirs [the top directors in the commercial industry] is amazing."
The two winning commercials will be announced and aired during the Super Bowl, one selected by Doritos and one by people voting on Facebook. The winner will be the producers of the commercial that ranks the highest on USA Today's annual Ad Meter, an online project calling for viewers to rate and share their favorite commercials via Facebook.
Bonus prizes of $1 million, $600,000 and $400,000 will be awarded should either commercial rank in the first, second or third place overall on the USA Today Ad Meter, which does not sponsor and is not affiliated with the Doritos competition.
Joe Taranto said it had long been on his to-do list to work on a commercial for Crash the Super Bowl, but he always seemed to be working on other projects when the submission deadline came each year.
"The opportunity finally presented itself," he said.
The commercial was filmed during a weekend and, in all, took about a week or two of work from start to finish, Vinnie Taranto said.
The Taranto brothers said they considered many options using plenty of Super Bowl commercial staples — dogs, cute kids and the like — before settling on the theme based on the idea, "Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it."
The commercial features a man watching his grandmother's dog. The instructions left behind explicitly warn against playing fetch.
Of course, he ignores grandma's prohibition. He asks for Doritos, and the dog brings him a chip and then a full bag of the snack.
But the man's next, staccato request — prompted by a nearby magazine featuring a scantily-clad model — for a "Bare. Naked." female is interrupted by a bear chasing him around the home.
The team set up a separate website, vote4fetch.com, to make it easier for fans to find the video and vote. People are allowed to vote twice per day via Facebook, once on a computer and once on a mobile device.
The brothers hope to build hype by continuing the story line in extra videos to be released in coming weeks, until voting in the contest ends Jan. 29.
Joe Taranto is listed as the contest entrant because Doritos only allowed one person to be listed, but he said it was a team project with his brother.
The two split the $25,000 winnings with the 15-member team that worked on the commercial. Should they win more, the Taranto brothers said they will donate a portion of the prize money to the Humane Society of America because the dog star, Petals the Dog, was rescued before going into acting.
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