Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

‘Insanely hot’ Doritos, chocolate-dipped Twinkies and other weird food news

Chocodiles TwinkiesUpdate: How could I forget this one? If you dress up like a cow today and go to Chick-fil-A, you’ll get a free meal. It’s “Cow Appreciation Day” there. And these people are serious about humiliating you having fun – to get the full free meal you have to dress up “head to hoof” in cow attire. Customers who are too “chicken” to go all out get a free entree for wearing a cow-spotted hat, scarf, purse, etc.

Let’s take a quick break from all the wonderful farm-to-fork foodie goodness our Valley produces and focus on some of the more oddball munchies that have hit Fresno recently. First, Friday is 7-Eleven Day (it’s 7/11, get it?) and that means the stores will be giving away free small Slurpees — but only from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. of course. In the days that follow, you can get free snacks ranging from birthday cake-flavored M&Ms to yogurt bars if you download the 7-Eleven app. Details here.

Twinkies is reintroducing Chocodiles to stores. Chocodiles, which Hostess says developed a “cult-like following” are essentially chocolate-covered Twinkies. (I’ve never had one. How are they?) In the past they were only distributed to stores in the West, but appeared on eBay selling for $30 a box. Now you can get them again, along with strawberry creme, banana creme and chocolate creme Twinkies the company will be releasing this summer. (No word yet on where to get these Twinkies, but since Walmart had first dibs on the relaunch of the original Twinkies, they might be a good place to try.) Hostess is also inviting fans to submit new and inventive recipes that use Twinkies for what will become The Twinkies Cookbook.

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Reedley’s Trevino writes Doritos ad contest winner

image002The Doritos commercial, “Fashionista Daddy,” written by Fresno State and Reedley High School graduate Gabriel Trevino has been named the winner of the “Crash the Super Bowl Contest.”

Mark Freiburger is listed as the official winner of the grand prize because he directed the 30-second commercial. Trevino could not be reached to find out if he will get any of the  award.

The commercial was one of 6,000 entries.

“Fashionista Daddy” was the highest ranking of the Doritos consumer-created commercials on the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter. It came in fourth place among all of the commercials during the CBS telecast watched by 108.4 million viewers with a 7.20 rating. The overall winner was the Anheuser-Busch’s commercial about the bond between a Budweiser Clydesdale and his trainer that finished with a 7.76 rating. Tide’s “Miracle Stain” was second with a 7.75 followed by the Ram commercial about American farmers with a 7.43.

Trevino’s commercial features a father heading out to play football with his buddies. He is stopped by his daughter, who wants him to play princess. She overcomes his objections by offering him Doritos. Soon, all the football buddies join playtime. Trevino came up with the idea because he’s a new dad and has seen how parents will do almost anything for their children.

He was initially concerned the commercial he wrote and help produce would have a tough time because it was shot on an extremely limited budget. The biggest expense was renting the largest wedding dress they could find for one of the macho men to wear.

The closest Doritos commercial competition was “Goat 4 Sale,” created by Ben Callner, Decatur, Ga., that scored No. 7 on the USA Today Ad Meter rankings.

All five finalists received $25,000 and a trip to attend Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.

CORRECTED: Post was updated to remove the $1 million dollars prize. It’s unclear whether or not the commercial earned the additional bonus money. Neither Trevino nor PepsiCo  could be reached to clarify the matter.


Fresno State grad Gabriel Trevino finalist in Doritos Super Bowl ad contest

Fresno State and Reedley High School graduate Gabriel Trevino is in the running to have a commercial he made be part of this year’s Super Bowl broadcast. His work is one of the five finalist in the “Dorito’s 2013 Crash the Super Bowl Contest.” Voting ends today to see which commercial will be shown during the telecast Sunday.

The commercial he wrote, directed by Mark Freiburger, features a father heading out to play football with his buddies. He’s stopped by his young daughter who wants him to play princess with her. His objections are countered when the little girl offers him some Doritos. Soon all the football buddies are involved in the playtime.

“The idea came to me because I just became a new dad. It’s about the crazy and kooky things a father will do for their children — and Doritos,” Trevino says.

This isn’t the first Doritos commercial for Trevino, a communications major at Fresno State, as he was one of the writers behind the “Swing Baby” Doritos commercial that aired during last year’s big game.

Not only did he write this year’s entry, Trevino produced the commercial that cost $300 to shoot, far below the $5,000 spent by some on other contest entries. Trevino could keep the price low because all of the actors and crew were friends. The biggest expense was the cost of renting the largest wedding dress they could find.

Trevino doesn’t make commercials for a living. Along with working for a company that places promotional advertisements for Disney products in major outlets, he’s done some improv work.

The director was informed their commercial was a finalist in a phone call from director Michael Bay. The man behind the ‘Transformer” movies was involved in narrowing down the more than 6,000 entries into the finalists.

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So, Fresyes, what’s the verdict on this Taco Bell/Doritos taco?

By now you’ve probably heard about Bakersfield and Fresno — errr, “Fresyes” — being test markets for Taco Bell’s much-discussed-on-the-interwebs Doritos Loco Taco, which has a taco shell made of actual Doritos. There’s been a serious ad blitz on TV and radio these past 10 or so days. This look familiar?

Since Fresno fast-food lovers have had a chance to try them now, let’s get down to nitty-gritty on these tacos — what’s the verdict? Do they pass the test? Are they the junk-food dream that many are hoping for? Or are they just a totally loco idea gone awry? Let’s hear your thoughts.

PREVIOUSLY: Taco Bell is a disgrace to tacos

Super Bowl commercials: What was your favorite? What did you hate?

I didn’t really pay as much attention to Super Bowl commercials this year. I didn’t do a survey like last year. But I at least came away with a favorite of this year’s batch — the Doritos commercial where crumbs bring things back to life, even Grandpa.

According to USA Today’s AdMeter, though, it was another Doritos commercial (the one with the pug) that was America’s favorite, tying with Bud Light’s “Dog Sitter.” Agree? Personally, I didn’t think either one was that great.

If you missed the many Super Bowl ads, or just want to watch them again, head over to YouTube or Hulu. Local blog The Dumb Drum has also narrowed down just the movie ads, for you film geeks out there.

So what was your favorite Super Bowl ad? Any you absolutely hated? Anybody quit Groupon in a fit because of its commercials?

The Best & Worst of Super Bowl ads

At my Super Bowl party yesterday, I handed out a survey for best and worst commercials. It was totally unscientific, but I thought it would at least be interesting to see what people thought. And, of course, it would be fun to share here too.

1. Snickers – “Game”
It seemed that Betty White getting hit was a big hit at our house.

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Help a Fresnan ‘Crash the Super Bowl’

OK, Fresnans, we have a job to do. Bullard grad Joelle De Jesus is one of six finalists in Doritos’ “Crash the Super Bowl” commercial-making contest. Enough votes and his commercial will air during the Super Bowl. If that happens, he stands to win up to $2 million. De Jesus, who now lives in L.A., already won $25K and Super Bowl tickets, for being a finalist. Here’s his commercial:

Voting is open until Jan. 31 at One warning: You have to register with the site to vote. For more info on De Jesus, check out this story from ABC 30.

UPDATE: Apparently, a Fresnan has his hands in another of the six finalists. “The Casket” was edited by once-Fresnan Stephen Yao. Here’s that video:

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