Doritos commercial with Hudson native misses Super Bowl cut

by Tim Troglen | reporter Published:

Hudson -- As the elation of winning Super Bowl XLVIII began to set in for the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks, another type of reality was setting in for a 2003 Hudson High School graduate and his team of friends who recently filmed and submitted a potential $1 million commercial for Doritos.

Steve Olson was the title character in "Office Thief." Olson, formerly of Hudson, played an office worker covered in suspicious crumbs, who is questioned by his boss about the Doritos missing from the break room.

While the commercial was not among the two aired, it was a top five finalist out of 5,000 submissions. Of the five, a fan favorite determined by vote, and a sponsor favorite were picked to air.

During the Feb. 2 world-wide Super Bowl broadcast, Olson watched and waited with each commercial break to see if "Office Thief" was going to be played.

"I'd say I started at slightly nervous and transitioned to completely exasperated," Olson said of the wait. "We'd all imagined the exhilaration of winning this contest, but the reality is you're apprehensive about losing."

Olson and the Office Thief team "reached out to everyone we knew for support, because the winners were based off public voting," according to Olson.

"So I could feel that weight and absolutely did not want to let anyone down," he said.

Around the middle of the fourth quarter Olson realized the commercial was not going to be played.

"Doritos planned on playing two of the five finalists," Olson said. "'Time Machine' played in the first quarter, which we kind of expected, then the suspense would increase with every commercial break. Then 'Cowboy Kid' came on at the end of the fourth quarter, and that was that."

Olson described the realization as "not a terrific one."

"I wouldn't put it in the top-10 most delightful moments of my life," Olson said. "More than any personal benefit I might have received, I wanted everyone that supported us to have that moment of excitement."

Olson, who is also appearing in a Pepcid commercial campaign, does not know what will happen to the filmed commercial.

"They haven't given us any indication whether it's going to be used or not in some way," Olson said.

The Pepcid commercial, "Burns Family," is about a family hit with heartburn, Olson said.

"Teresa Ganzel plays the mom, Richard Riehle plays the dad. Some people might know him from 'Office Space,'" Olson said. "If you're so inclined, you can go to my website, www.steveolsonsite.com and sign-up for the mailing list, and I'll send out updates once in a while.

"If you get tired of them, you can always unsubscribe. I may even unsubscribe soon," he joked.

Olson has appeared in several spots including the new Pepcid "Burns Family" commercials and was the "dart guy" in the recent "Dart Player" Zoosk commercial.

Olson was contacted for "Office Thief" by fellow Californian Chris Capel, who wrote and directed the commercial. "Steve was the first and only guy I auditioned for the employee role," Capel said. "I knew right from the start that he understood the joke and what we were going for. He just got it."

Even though the commercial didn't win, Olson said he was thankful for the opportunity and to the ones who voted for the piece.

"I want to say thank you to anyone that helped in any way and that I was completely humbled by your support," Olson said. "Regardless of winning, that was a feeling I haven't experienced on that level."

Olson also said the commercial was not "an all-or-nothing situation."

"Just by being a finalist, we've had doors open that wouldn't have otherwise," Olson added. "It's great when you've given exposure like this, because so many people are trying to make it, and it can be hard to stand out."

Email: ttroglen@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9435

Facebook: TimTroglenRPC

Twitter: @Trog_RPC

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