The scream that won it all

Ryan Coopersmith has a lot to scream about these days — the 21-year-oldfilmmaker from Montreal and his seven best friends have won the $25,000Doritos Guru grand prize and naming rights for a new Doritos flavourfor their winning “Scream Cheese” video.

Ryan Coopersmith has a lot to scream about these days — the 21-year-old filmmaker from Montreal and his seven best friends have won the $25,000 Doritos Guru grand prize and naming rights for a new Doritos flavour for their winning “Scream Cheese” video.

Remember those white Doritos bags sporting a large dollar sign on their labels? Doritos invited the public to create videos for an as-yet-unnamed new flavour, offering naming rights and a grand prize to the winning entry in their “Doritos Guru” contest.

Coopersmith and his seven closest friends, ranging in age from 20 to 23, head up their own fledgling film company Boo Ya Pictures and figured entering the contest would be a great way to at least get some national promotion for the company. Instead their video titled Scream Cheese 2 was crowned the winner by Canadians through online votes, making Coopersmith and the team from Boo Ya Pictures a heck of a lot richer.

Along with the $25,000 prize money, Coopersmith and his buddies will also rake in one per cent of total sales from the new chip flavour, a potentially enormous chunk of change if the flavour sells well. Coopersmith says the gravity of the win hasn’t quite sunk in yet.

“It’s a scenario where you don’t know how to act. We can’t even visualize it at this time. It’s the best feeling in the world,” Coopersmith said.

While the team collaborated on all aspect of the video’s creation, Coopersmith came up with the name Scream Cheese suddenly in a car ride home after a brainstorming session and the team jumped on the concept quickly. Their 30-second video, featuring people screaming incessantly in everyday situations, is clever and funny and proves that great ideas don’t need a lot of money to work.

“Including buying pizza for everyone and buying lights, it cost us about $400 to make. We harassed a lot of people and a lot of extras were friends and family who were interested in doing the film for free,” Coopersmith said.

Dan Handelman, 21, says the popularity of Scream Cheese might have something to do with the simple variety of the video he and his friends produced.

“I think that maybe because there’s so much diversity in the video, people can relate to it,” Handelman said.

Claudia Calderon, marketing manager for Doritos, says response to the contest was overwhelming with more than 2,100 videos submitted.

“We said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could let our consumer be creative and own part of the brand?’

We couldn’t have expected the level of engagement we got from consumers,” Calderon said.

Coopersmith will reinvest the winnings into the company and plans to use most of the money to finance Boo Ya’s first full-length feature film.

“We always just want to make stuff that makes us laugh,” Handelman said.

 
 
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