Franklin grad in the chips for second year

For the second consecutive year, a Franklin College graduate has a chance at $1 million and national recognition during the Super Bowl.

Franklin College alumnus Travis Braun is again a finalist for the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl competition, which is in its 10th and final year. Contestants submit their own commercial for a chance to have it played during the Super Bowl and a $1 million grand prize. The contest is decided by fan voting during the weeks leading up to Super Bowl Sunday.

Last year, Braun was one of 10 finalists. But this time around, the odds are better. Braun and his co-producer, Jacob Chase, are one of three finalists.

“One of the reasons I wanted to enter the contest again this year was that we did get so close last year,” Braun said. “It would be a dream come true.”

Last year, Braun won $25,000 — a great return on his $350 investment — and watched the Super Bowl from a luxury suite for being a finalist. He split the money with his crew of volunteers who helped make the commercial about a baby’s first word being Doritos.

They already won $100,000 for being one of three finalists. And again, the money was split among those who helped film, produce and edit the 30-second commercial, Braun said.

In about three weeks, he and Chase will be at this year’s Super Bowl in Santa Clara, California, hoping for their commercial to be aired.

This year’s commercial features three dogs, dressed as a human, buying bags of chips at a grocery store.

Braun got the idea from seeing people stopping at a grocery store and leaving their dogs tied up outside. He imagined the dogs waiting and watching and wondering about all the food inside, Braun said.

“This year, I wanted to make another run, but only if the idea was better or as good, as last year’s,” Braun said. “When we told everyone the concept of the ad, it brought a lot of support. So we ran with the idea of being able to see the dogs get inside the grocery store and get those snacks.”

The commercial took months of brainstorming and involved about 15 people, three professionally trained rescue dogs and six days of filming. They filmed about two hours south of Los Angeles, where Braun has lived for the past five years.

Shortly after graduation, Braun moved to Los Angeles and has been working toward his dream of becoming a feature film writer. He said $1 million would go a long way toward helping Chase and him produce and direct the feature film they’re writing.

“Having the money to help fund our feature film would be an awesome position to be in,” Braun said.

The money they’ve won so far has helped, but the opportunities he had in the past year are the greatest return of the time and effort he invested into the contest, he said. And he’s hoping being a finalist again this year will have the same impact.

Being a finalist meant attending the Super Bowl with some of the most creative writers, directors and producers and carried over into months-long writing opportunities for advertisements and promotions, Braun said.

After last year’s Super Bowl, Marriott Hotels contacted Braun to work on an animated series. He’s currently working on movies for television for Disney Jr. and Nickelodeon.

“There are a lot of people out here with this dream. I’m very grateful for this opportunity because last year, just being a finalist, it got me a lot of work and allowed me to support myself as a full-time writer,” Braun said.


To vote for “Doritos Dogs,” go to You can vote once per day per device through Jan. 31.

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Corey Elliot is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2719.