By MAE ANDERSON, Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Doritos is upping the prize for its annual "Crash the Super Bowl" contest, bringing in Michael Bay, a big name movie director who is no stranger to crashes himself.
The Frito Lay snack chip brand's seventh annual contest allows viewers to submit their own Doritos commercials. Fans vote on their favorites to appear during the big game.
If the ads score well on the USA Today Ad Meter, which measures the popularity of Super Bowl commercials, contestants win cash prizes of up to $1 million. But this time, winners will also get the chance to work with Bay, known for such films as "Transformers, "Pearl Harbor" and "Armageddon," on the next "Transformers movie."
"We realized entrants sometimes want a shot at breaking into the entertainment industry more than the $1 million prize giveaway," said Ram Krishnan, vice president of marketing, Frito-Lay North America, which is owned by PepsiCo Inc. "So we're giving them that chance by working on the next 'Transformers' move."
The winner's role in the making of the "Transformers" movie will depend on where his or her interest lies.
Another change: Doritos will debut a Facebook app that will let anyone volunteer to help others create an ad. Users of the ad can donate their time, props, or locations to help make the ad.
"Consumers told us 'I would love to participate but I have no interest or the talent to make a video,'" said Krishnan. "The app lets anyone pitch in."
There were 6,100 entrants last year, up from 4,500 the year before. Krishnan expects even more this year.
The Super Bowl will be played Feb. 3 in New Orleans and will be broadcast by CBS.
People can submit ads for the contest between Oct. 8 and Nov. 16 at www.facebook.com/DoritosUSA. Five finalist ads will be announced in January and consumers will then be able to vote for their favorite online.
The Super Bowl is advertising's largest showcase. The National Football League's championship game garnered an estimated 111.3 million viewers when it aired last February, according to Nielsen
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