Peter Carstairs is Australia's final ever hope to Crash the Super Bowl, but despite a chance to win a lavish prize pack – including working on a major feature film – the director says the real prize will be cracking the advertising industry.
Carstairs is in the final three of the Doritos-branded competition, which sees creatives make their own commercials for the brand. The winner stands to pick up US$1 million, the chance to work with director Zac Snyder on a Warner Brothers' film and have their work aired during the Super Bowl to an audience of millions.
As part of creative projects company Mr Smith, Carstairs is already a successful director, having worked on projects including feature film September, and music clips and adverts for brands like Betfair and Holden. Despite his recent endeavours, he says he's eyeing Crash the Super Bowl as his ticket into adland.
“I love ads and I don't ever intend to stop making them. I've made one movie, hopefully I will make more, but my end game is to keep making ads,” Carstairs told AdNews.
“I've only been making ads for two years, so I'm quite new in commercials. I'm still looking for a break, and in particular, a way to showcase that I can direct comedy.”
His commercial, Ultrasound, shows a pregnant mother with her partner, who is munching on Doritos in the consultation room, when things take an unexpected turn.
Carstairs and his wife, actress Sibylla Budd, recently had their second child, with Carstairs saying the experience of childbirth was the catalyst of the ad, which he formulated with writers Liam Jenkins and Heath Collins.
“We were wrestling with ideas and when it comes to childbirth, men and women often have very different experiences,” Carstairs says.
“For mum, it's usually a really life-affirming, spiritual moment, but then you’ll see dad in the corner, eating Doritos – well maybe it's not that bad.”
This year is the 10th and final iteration of the Crash the Super Bowl competition. The annual NFL showcase will be played on 7 February (8 February AEST).
As a finalist, Carstairs has already won $US100,000 and will be flown to the US for the Super Bowl, but he won't know the outcome of the competition until one of the ads airs during the sporting event. Keep an eye on AdNews on the day for updates.
Irrespective, Carstairs says the opportunity to be part of the program has been “amazing”, noting that he certainly sees space in Australian sporting events, like the AFL, for a local iteration.
“It's very hard to break into advertising, because if you haven't made many ads, it's hard to show that you can do something in the vein of what an agency or client wants to make,” he says.
“These kinds of competitions are awesome to bridge that gap.”
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