Reporting Dave Crawley
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Steelers won’t make it to the Super Bowl, but a former Saxonburg man will be going in style thanks to a commercial he produced for $500.
The California resident recently stopped back home long enough to share his story with KDKA’s Dave Crawley.
A well-dressed businessman drops from the sky onto a sidewalk café table. He immediately starts chirping like a bird as he gobbles up scraps of Doritos chips.
It’s one of five homemade commercials selected from 6,100 entries for the company’s “Crash the Super Bowl” contest.
“You win $25,000 and get to go to the Super Bowl,” said Joby Harris. “I thought if that’s all it takes to possibly see the Steelers in the Super Bowl, I’m going to submit something.”
Well, Harris’ favorite team didn’t make the cut, but the Dubois native who grew up in Saxonburg hopes his “Bird of Prey” commercial makes the final cut.
“Now, it comes down to votes,” he said. “Whoever’s commercial gets the most votes during this time, gets to be shown during the Super Bowl.”
The 36-year-old graphic designer showed off-beat promise at an early age.
“I’d get the action figure, and then I would make all of the play lands and play sets with toilet paper rolls and Cool-Whip containers,” said Harris. “And that began a love for model-making.”
He attended Knoch High School and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and then took his dreams to Hollywood in 1996. The freelance graphic designer now lives in Pasadena.
“Every day for six months I had to listen to a bird fight with its own reflection in the window outside my office,” he recalled. “I could either go crazy or do something with it.”
His commercial concludes with the “man-bird” body slamming an office window. He produces lots of laughs with a budget of $500.
“All my friends worked for free,” he said.
The commercial producer from Saxonburg had one dollar in the bank at the time of production. If his ad makes the Super Bowl, it’s in the running for a USA Today “ad meter” prize.
“Whatever commercial wins that gets a million dollars,” he smiles. “Even if I don’t win, I’m grateful to come back and share with my city and with my friends, ‘Hey, I did something! I made it!’”
Pittsburgh has a “home team” to root for, after all.
You can vote for Harris’ commercial at www.crashthesuperbowl.com.