Super Bowl Crashers Up Close

“I’m a ____ but what I really want to do is direct.” Daring to dream are these 10 budding filmmakers, the finalists in PepsiCo’s “Crash the Super Bowl” challenge. But many of them are further along the path to their dream than the competition might make clear. Most have some writing, filmmaking, marketing or even advertising background. Also, for most, this is the second or even the third year they have participated.

So it’s not quite amateur hour as the company, for the fifth straight year, turns over the creation of its multimillion dollar Super Bowl investment to the public, this year adding Doritos sister brand, Pepsi Max, to the contest. Online voting will determine four of the six ads that air, with brand teams selecting a third spot for each brand. Finalists have already each won $25,000 for their work being chosen from 5,600 submissions, but the competition goes beyond the coveted airtime. If their ads take the top three rankings of the USA Today Ad Meter, they could win a shared prize of $5 million. While cash is always appreciated, the creators all say they are participating for the exposure. “Ambitious apprentices” is probably a more fitting description for the group than “rank amateurs.”