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McClatchy-Tribune Information Services, Published February 09 2010

Minnesota-produced Doritos commercial most-watched television commercial of all time

MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota-made Doritos commercial featuring two men attacked in a gym for stealing someone else's Doritos was seen by about 116.2 million viewers during the Super Bowl on Sunday, making it the most watched television commercial of all time, the Nielsen Co. reported Tuesday.

The 30-second ad, produced by Minneapolis film makers and best friends Ben Krueger and Cole Koehler, ran in the game's fourth quarter, just after Indianapolis' Peyton Manning threw that interception for a touchdown.

``Can you believe it? That's pretty exciting,' Koehler said Tuesday regarding the record audience that watched his work.

The honor befell his ad, he acknowledged, because of ``timing.'

``It came at the highest point of the game, right after that interception. The game was still in the balance there with three minutes to go. ... I feel so lucky that it was our commercial that was being aired.'

``For an advertiser to make its pitch to more than 116 million viewers at once shows that the Super Bowl remains the single largest television platform for marketers,' said Pat McDonough, senior vice president for insights and analysis at Nielsen. ``And with Super Bowl advertisers adding thousands - if not millions - of commercial views through online and social media exposure, they are able to extend their multi-million dollar investments beyond the game itself.'

Audi's ``Green Police' ad followed with 115.6 million watching.

Until Sunday, the season finale of ``M*A*S*H' in 1983 aired the highest commercial minute, when about 108.9 million viewers watched the second half-hour of the program.

Krueger and Koehler were among 4,063 film makers to enter the annual Doritos ``Crash the Super Bowl' challenge - all hoping to have their commercial air during Sunday's Super Bowl telecast and maybe capture the grand prize.

Last year, a pair of unemployed brothers from Indiana received $1 million from Doritos for winning the fan vote for most popular commercial overall. This year, Krueger and Koehler finished 17th out of 63 ads. For being one of six finalists they were guaranteed a prize of at least $25,000.

Their ad was filmed at the Uppercut Boxing Gym in northeast Minneapolis in four hours, using Minneapolis actors and friends. It cost less than $1,000.