Maryland Native Wins Best Doritos Commercial in $1 Million Super Bowl Contest

Raj Suri of Ellicott City produced the 30-second commercial 'Time Machine.'

Raj Suri, of Ellicott City, produced the winning commercial in the Doritos ad competition for 2014. (Credit: rajsuriactor.com)
Raj Suri, of Ellicott City, produced the winning commercial in the Doritos ad competition for 2014. (Credit: rajsuriactor.com)
An Ellicott City native who dabbles in film produced the $1 million prize-winning Doritos commercial which aired during Sunday night's Super Bowl. The experience was "surreal," he told Patch on Monday.

Raj Suri, 39, shot the commercial "Time Machine" in Arizona, where he now lives and works as a systems analyst at Intel.

"Time Machine" was the third entry for Suri and director Ryan Andersen—whom he described as a "director/friend/lover of value meals"—in the annual Crash the Super Bowl contest sponsored by Doritos.

The inspiration for "Time Machine" came from Andersen's son, who wanted his own time machine after watching Back to the Future, Suri said in an interview with his alma mater, Virginia Tech. They made the time machine out of a cardboard box.

A small crew shot the 30-second Doritos spot at Andersen's parents' house, with the family dog and cardboard box making cameos, Suri told WBAL.

The commercial aired during the first quarter of the Super Bowl. It was one of two finalists in the Doritos contest to get air time; one was the $1 million contest winner, while the other was a Doritos staff pick, and it wasn't immediately announced which won.

On Monday morning, Good Morning America revealed that "Time Machine" was the winner of the $1 million check from Doritos.

"It was surreal to know that you created something that was seen by 100 million people," Suri told Patch Monday afternoon. "Even more mind boggling [is] to know that it was generally regarded as one of the best commercials of the Super Bowl."

"Time Machine" ranked fourth on USA Today's Ad Meter, which polled Super Bowl viewers to gauge their favorite commercials.

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, the Maryland Governor's Office on Minority Affairs and Centennial High School were among those tweeting their congratulations.

Suri, who grew up in Howard County and graduated from Centennial, received a computer science degree from Virginia Tech in 1997, then moved to Arizona for a job at Intel, according to Virginia Tech. He told Patch most of his family lives in Howard County.

After receiving the giant check, Andersen said his son—who starred in the commercial—may get to go for a trip to Toys 'R' Us, while he planned to buy "a comfortable bed," according to a podcast on 93.3 KDKB Arizona.

"I will probably live my life just as I did before this all happened," Andersen said on the radio. "I have no intentions on blowing money. I've got other fish to fry in life." 

Suri said he planned to put his portion of the winnings toward future projects.

"...we can use some of this money to fund a bigger project to help launch the careers of the people on our team—I think that would be fantastic," Suri told Patch. He said the winnings would be divided up among those who created the commercial, and he hoped to make a piece with a budget of more than a few hundred dollars.

As part of the prize package, Andersen from "Time Machine" and Amber Gill of "Cowboy Kid" (the Doritos staff pick) will get to work on the set of the upcoming Marvel movie The Avengers: The Age of Ultron.

Sudha Pindi February 04, 2014 at 02:58 PM
Congratulations!!!! That was a good ad.


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