Saturday night before the Superbowl we were treated to a swank dinner where we met several more Doritos marketing and advertising bigwigs. It was in part to honor us, and in part to honor the team that put together the marketing strategy and the Crash event. Everybody was distributed into five large tables, each marked for one of the commercial finalists.
Check this spread out…
Tom Greco, the President of Frito-Lay, showed up and gave a speech and a toast to all the finalists and to the team. That’s the actual President. Of the whole company. He delivered some business summary about blah blah market share blah blah segment/growth/brand velocity that I could spend ten years learning the words for and still wouldn’t understand. I trust it was brilliant, but I wouldn’t know. The part that was cool was when he pointed nearly everyone out on the Doritos team and obviously made them feel really appreciated with some very kind words. These people had been working all year on this project and did all they could to make us all feel respected and honored. (Later he would have kind words for us, too, at the Superbowl.)
Then, out of the blue, a guy appeared in the room that I recognized in amazement as Akiva Schaffer of The Lonely Island. Having had experience introducing myself shamelessly to people I have no business introducing myself to, I ran up as fast as I could and grabbed that sumbitch’s hand and told him (to paraphrase roughly), that I was madly in love with him.
Every minute since I arrived, I’d been carrying around a flash drive carrying the secret Digital Short that I made for The Lonely Island just in case one of them showed up, and the ONE night one of them shows up unexpected for a social event, I forgot to bring it.
Akiva was exhausted from his trip and from shooting Neighborhood Watch, which he’s directing. (He also directed “Hot Rod,” which is underrated.) So he mostly hung out in the corner with his agent, a friendly guy named Jay, and relaxed.
The Doritos team showed everyone a dramatic internal video about the success of the program, then showed all the commercial spots to boisterous applause. We all spent the evening dining as gourmands, picking the brains of the ad execs who kept saying with unforced sincerity how much they loved our spots, and talking about movies, families, and Superbowls.
Then after all this, they announced that they had cigars and cognacs for anyone who wanted to go up on the roof overlooking the stadium. The cigars were Padron 1926 and Montecristos. Several of us went up and took turns kicking over a glass without it breaking as a good-luck ritual for tomorrow’s event.
We were trucked back to the hotel and given passes to see 50 Cent and Pit Bull and some other guy, and went to check it out. They weren’t letting anyone in, including VIP passholders. Who wants to see famous people anyway? We went back to the hotel. Some people partied a bit; we went to bed.
Next up: Superbowl Day!