A former Red Deer resident had both of his entries finish in the top three in a national video contest.
Placing second and third in the Doritos Viralocity contest, which received more than 1,100 submissions, earned Shane Smith a total of $25,000 in addition to plenty of recognition.
“More exposure is always good,” said the 30-year-old of his win.
As for the financial windfall, Smith said he’ll use some of the money to start a YouTube channel featuring sketch comedy videos. The freelance camera operator and editor who now lives in Vancouver used to run his own multimedia production company in Red Deer before moving to the coast three years ago to study film at the Vancouver Film School.
Having already created online videos, Smith jumped at the chance to enter the competition that launched on Feb. 14 in an effort to find a name for the latest Doritos tortilla chip flavour.
Competitors had to produce a 60-second viral video to brand the latest taste, with the clip receiving the most hits being deemed the winner.
“Myself and three other friends just saw the listing for the competition and thought it would be fun,” Smith said. “We had a couple of ideas that we thought we could make work.”
The group saw an opportunity to poke fun at the immensely popular Twilight Series that was filmed in Vancouver and created Peter Chao’s Full Moon, which placed second in the competition.
And Smith explained that Doritos Surge, which took third, was inspired by circulating videos of celebrities, “whose egos are getting too big for themselves.”
Both videos — each taking about three days to complete — feature Peter Chao, a YouTube celebrity of sorts whose own channel on the popular video site has received more than eight million hits.
The team used Chao’s popularity to help generate interest in their videos in addition to marketing the entries on Facebook, Twitter, through other online video features and by posting links on Twilight forums.
However, Jeff Chan and a team from Toronto won the viral video competition with their entry titled Doritos Tablet, which is a spoof on the launch of the Apple iPad.
Smith said his team “hit it off fairly well” with the winners when they ran into each other at a National Association of Broadcasters film convention in Las Vegas last week.
Both of Smith’s entries, in addition to the winning video and numerous other entries, can be viewed at www.doritosviralocity.ca