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Ryan Johnson, Published December 06 2013

VIDEO: Locally made commercials for Super Bowl ad contest find online success

FARGO – They won’t be aired nationally, but two locally made commercials that were recently submitted to Doritos’ annual Crash the Super Bowl contest found an audience online.

“Noodling,” a fishing-themed commercial that shows members of local improv comedy troupe The LineBenders realizing the mermaid-luring powers of Doritos nacho cheese chips, had more than 102,000 YouTube views by Friday afternoon.

That total doesn’t include the thousands of other views and Facebook likes that different versions of the commercial – including a Portuguese translation – have attracted, according to J.J. Gordon, artistic director and member of The LineBenders.

“I have no idea where we’re sitting at right now for views, which is awesome,” he said.

Another local contest entry, “Flavor Plane,” shows Theatre B founders Carrie Wintersteen and Scott Horvik as a husband and wife with thick accents straight out of the movie “Fargo” as they look at the growing crop of Doritos chips sprouting from a field. A crop duster buzzes the field toward the end, dropping down the nacho cheese powder that flavors the chips – giving the ad its title.

Wintersteen said the concept for this commercial, just like “Noodling,” was developed by Jason Jacobson, a former member of The LineBenders who now works for Sundog in Fargo.

“I just got the call saying, ‘Hey, would you come and play Scott’s wife,’ and I chuckled because Scott and I frequently play a married couple,” she said. “He did give me a lot of freedom in just playing with that character.”

“Flavor Plane” had more than 2,300 YouTube views by Friday afternoon.

Neither commercial made the list of 24 semifinalist ads that will eventually be narrowed down to five finalists, with two grand prize winners’ commercials airing during the Super Bowl.

The top commercial as voted by the general public will win its creator $1 million, while both grand prize winners get a chance to work on the set of the sequel to the 2012 blockbuster film “The Avengers.”

Gordon said he has no hard feelings about how it turned out. Even if “Noodling” wasn’t what the Doritos judges were looking for in their pick of semifinalists, it was the 14th-most-viewed of the more than 2,000 commercials that were submitted for this year’s contest.

“It would’ve been great if we had advanced,” he said. “But I feel like we won already because we had a phenomenal time and people everywhere all across the globe are liking it, so mission accomplished.”

Online: Link to “Noodling” on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=w36kuV6CNww

Link to “Flavor Plane” on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u49m5E1QYc

[hr />Readers can reach Forum reporter

Ryan Johnson at (701) 241-5587