Spartans influential in Super Bowl ads

Posted on: February 22, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday is a must-watch event, not only for the football game, but also for the entertaining, big-budget commercials. Two of this year’s most talked about Super Bowl advertisements were inspired by the creative talents of MSU’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences alumni, Tynesha Williams and Randy Ortiz.

Tynesha Williams (BA ’97 Advertising, BA ’98 Studio Art) created the popular Doritos Super Bowl ad that features the chip bringing back to life a fish, plant and a grandfather. Williams has spent 11 years working as a creative in the advertising world but her Super Bowl success is the result of her entry in a nationwide, Doritos Super Bowl advertisement contest.

Williams was notified that her ad was chosen as one of the top five, out of nearly 5,800 entries. She was flown to Dallas for the Super Bowl and sat in anticipation to see if her commercial was selected to air during the event. “I was sweating bullets because they were only going to play three of the five finalists and they had already aired two, which were not mine.” Her patience was rewarded when Williams viewed her ad, the final Doritos commercial to be aired during the Super Bowl. Her ad also placed third on the USA Today meter comparing all 31 Super Bowl commercials, which won her a $400,000 cash prize. 

Williams credits much of her success to her experience at MSU. "The MSU advertising program is the main reason I went to Michigan State," said Williams. “I still use skills today that I learned in the program. I know about media, ad history, the legal side of advertising, and that is all due to my MSU background.”

She even specified one teacher that had a great impact on her career: Jim Gilmore. “I took one creative class with professor Gilmore and his creative assignments and stories were amazing,” said Williams. 

When Williams informed Gilmore that she wanted to work in creative advertising, he asked her a simple question: “Where is your book?” Williams, then scheduled to graduate in the Spring, said she had no idea what a portfolio was at that time and it was Gilmore’s guidance that led her to build her portfolio and follow the path to become the successful professional she is today. 

Williams’ journey is inspiring, but Spartan involvement in this year’s Super Bowl ads does not stop there.

Randy Ortiz, currently an Account Supervisor at Wieden+Kennedy, also played a major role in a popular Super Bowl advertisement: The Chrysler Eminem ad.

Ortiz was the lead account person on this project and helped oversee the development, strategy and overall production of the commercial. 

“I am very proud to be from Detroit and the state of Michigan. This spot was meant to give a sense of pride to the people of not only Detroit, and Michigan, but to everyone in America.” said Ortiz. “I think people from all walks of life and all areas of the country could relate to this spot and that is why it has resonated with so many people.”

In the ad, Ortiz was able to showcase the loyalty he has for his hometown and state, but, like Williams, he also thanks his college and MSU background for helping him with his career. “The MSU College of Communication Arts and Sciences prepared me for the real world. Being part of such a strong advertising curriculum at MSU definitely gave me a head start when I started my advertising career,” said Ortiz. 

“My time at MSU really helped me develop my social skills. So much of this business is networking and communicating with people. Everything we do in this industry revolves around team work,” said Ortiz. “Being part of the MSU Baseball team taught me that team work is the key to success. At MSU I learned how to interact with people on both a professional and personal level. I owe so much to MSU for my career advancement and success in this industry.” 

Here in East Lansing, MSU professors also utilized their talents during this year’s Super Bowl by ranking the advertisements. For more information on this story and the ranking results, please follow this link: Faculty rate top Super Bowl ads

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