Cedar City, Utah Community Crashes the Super Bowl in Attempt to win $1 Million

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Southern Utah University team up with the small, rural community of Cedar City, to enter a national competition by producing a 30 second commercial.

Triangle Power

The bully, the physics teacher and the boy in Triangle Power

A lot of videos have higher production value, our story has the most heart

The entire southern Utah community enthusiastically supported a submission for the Frito Lay’s 2015 Doritos Crash the Super Bowl competition by producing an entry. The winner of which will receive a $1 million prize and a live airing of the 30-second spot during the big game.

The commercial, titled Triangle Power, was led by cast and crew from Southern Utah University. Dancers for the shoot were from Cedar City’s On-Stage dance studio. Actors from all local middle and high schools appeared in the commercial. Cedar City Mayor Maile Wilson made a surprise celebrity cameo.

“It was a privilege to be involved with so many others in our community for the contest,” Mayor Wilson said.

The commercial promotes Doritos while making a point about school bullying, which Wilson said she recognizes as a problem. The spot, she said, “focuses on preventing bullying in schools and the positive outcome associated with stopping bullying.”

The all-volunteer crew also impressed the Mayor, who commented favorably on “the quality and professionalism of the production, both while on set and the final product.”

Bringing the community together, she said, “was a great opportunity to showcase the talent in our community while highlighting an important message.”

The commercial was produced by Dr. Jon Smith, SUU professor of communication and an award-winning filmmaker and documentarian. It was directed by Ellen Treanor, professional-in-residence in the SUU communication department and an award-winning director in her own right.

Smith said he enjoyed involving the community in the project and allowing the community an opportunity to see how SUU students learn outside the classroom.

“The commercial created community enthusiasm and excitement,” he said. “It also created goodwill between community and school.”

Heather Sprouse, On-Stage owner, donated rehearsal space and said the experience was an eye-opener for her students, who learned that commercials are hard work.

“They had the best time, (and) they got real experience and national exposure, so it was a double bonus,” Sprouse said.

KJae Barbadillo, an SUU student who served as an assistant director, said the commercial was a great opportunity to learn about filmmaking in a community effort.

“Although a lot of videos in the contest have higher production value, our story has the most heart,” Barbadillo said. “I don’t think any other commercial has as much community support as ours does.”

In the commercial, 16-year-old Noah Strasmann plays a high-school student who stands up to a bully based on something he learns from his physics teacher -- the power of the triangle.

Strasmann uses Doritos to apply the triangle principle and overcome the bully, played by Nick Hofheins. The physics teacher, played by SUU professor Matt Nickerson, marches down the hall followed by an entourage as dancers celebrates Strasmann’s victory.

“I loved all the people,” Strasmann said. “This was such a great project!”

Voting is open at http://www.crashthesuperbowl.doritos.com (http://bit.ly/1vaEVzk). Viewers are invited to support the Southern Utah effort by going to the website, clicking on Gallery, inserting the search term “Triangle Power,” and giving it a 5-Star rating.

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Ellen Treanor
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Tommy Gugino

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