Ecstatic is the word Nate Daniels, 27, uses to describe his and business partner, Kevin Willson’s reaction to their recent victory in the national competition for best Super Bowl advertisement.
If you saw the game, you will remember the Doritos ad where a nasty kid (we all know one) is holding a bag of Doritos and taunting his baby brother from a tree house. Disgusted, Granny, hurls the baby forward in a big sling shot and the baby grabs the chips. I’m bold to say you remember it because Nielsen, the television rating system, reports that it was the highest in viewer recognition on their ad meter.
Nate, a recent graduate in marketing from Michigan State, class of 2003 and digital marketing consultant, began pitching ideas with Kevin and six or seven other guys as to what would be an eye-catching, engaging ad for the contest.
Comparing it to a David and Goliath encounter is not a stretch. They were going up against the largest, most powerful as agencies in the world.
When one takes into consideration the $200,000 to half a million dollar budgets of those Titans, compared to the tiny $2,700 one for film and crew that Nate and Kevin had, it’s easy to imagine God’s powerful hand guiding them to the top.
Nate describes the moment. He lives in Culver City, CA and forty-nine of his closest friends were jammed into his living room. As the game wore on, he began to wonder if the ad was going to be shown. Right after the ad streamed, they got a call that they had won the prize.
Oh, did I mention that the award was ONE MILLION DOLLARS?
To think that these struggling filmmakers would take down the pros is beyond usual expectations, to say the least.
Everyone connected with what we call “Sling Baby” is a believer. They began brainstorming at weekly meetings. At one of such gatherings, they said they needed a back yard with a covered patio and a tree house. One of the guys said, “You mean like this one?” They asked the special effects man if he could make it look as if a baby were flying through the air. He not only said yes, but supplied the baby, his son, Jonah.
The ad was heralded by the New York Times, the Detroit Free Press, and Entertainment Weekly. Nate says he knew they had made a big impact when the ad was satirized in a political cartoon.
Nate had been working for Relativity Media of late, whose recent releases are Immortals, a #1 box office hit, Mirror, Mirror with Julia Roberts and the long-awaited, Act of Valor, starring real Navy Seals.
He has branched out as a digital media consultant with several companies in film, entertainment and video games and focusing on high-impact, low budget films. He has projects that are still in the development stage. His goal is to make successful films with commercial appeal, decent entertainment. He wants to be a community builder and culture maker. We wish you success, Nate.
Thanks you, Lord, for Nate’s talent, his motivation and coterie of Christian friends who are bringing salt and light to the entertainment industry, And, um, by the way, Lord, the million bucks was great too.