Although Oregon's lack of a pro football team prevents its playing in the big game, Portland's own Food Chain Films
scored a touchdown in what's arguably more important—Super Bowl commercials
Food Chain is the filming force behind the 30-second commercial for Amp Energy Drink that aired during yesterday's fourth quarter. For those who didn't watch, it depicts a chubby truck driver who attempts to start a stranded woman's car by attaching jumper cables to his nipples and dancing. After an unsuccessful first attempt, the dauntless driver combines the musical force of Salt n Pepa's “Push It” with the electrolytic power of a can of Amp, and the engine roars to life. Watch the video here:
Cast and shot in LA last fall, the commercial for the PepsiCo drink looks like fun and games, but it took a lot of hard work. “Probably the toughest part,” admits Brad Goldthwaite, executive producer and owner of Food Chain, “was nailing the dance. We needed somebody athletic enough to keep rocking out, even after hours of takes in the desert heat. But we also wanted somebody with that bigger, grizzled tow-truck look.” Getting it right meant auditioning over 150 actors for the part.
Yesterday's run came as something of a surprise, as the ad wasn't originally conceived for the Super Bowl. BBDO New York, the advertising agency that handles all of PepsiCo.'s TV publicity, contacted Food Chain last year about filming the commercial, which seemed to fit the style of Food Chain directors “Papa & Daddy” (Shawn Preston and Ross Ludwig). After the filming, BBDO cut together a version they liked and sold it to PepsiCo. The commercial had been testing unexpectedly well in focus groups, and then, last week, came the big news.
“We had a version of the commercial up on our website, and they called and told us to take it down, because it was going on the Super Bowl,” says Food Chain production coordinator Matt Genz.
So far the reaction has been impressive. As of press time, Food Chain's Amp spot sat at No. 25 on USA Today
's Super Bowl Ad Meter, beating out commercials from Doritos, Bud Light and T-Mobile. So although the Food Chain team didn't care much about the football match— they're Packers fans—they still have something to celebrate.