PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A Dairy Queen jingle contest to promote its S’mores Blizzard drew submissions from online musicians from coast to coast.
However, the trio in Pittsburgh won the $10,000 first prize.
The Point Park Fountain is the backdrop for the winning entry.
Playing banjo, mandolin and standup base, Point Park University grads John Rohlf and Paul Koudouris teamed up with Upper Saint Clair native Santino Tomasetti for the winning video.
What originally brought the three together was not the sweet taste of s’mores, but the ongoing Civic Light Opera production, “Ring of Fire, the Songs of Johnny Cash.”
Paul Koudouris got it started.
“I contacted a couple guys in the ‘Ring of Fire’ cast,” he said. “And said, ‘I’ve got this idea maybe we should do a fun jingle with this contest.’”
“Then, we sat down over at Dairy Queen and talked business,” Tomasetti said.
“Threw together, I can do this, and I can do this, and we just sort of figured it out,” Rohlf said.
The songs they played together in “Ring of Fire” helped to point them in the right direction.
“I guess it was just innate to us that we were going to do this bluegrass Johnny Cash type version,” Tomaseti said.
“We just played to our strengths,” Koudouris said. “Santino has a great resonant sound at the bottom of his voice, John is fun and comedic, and I like to croon a little bit. And of course, the instrumentation too, we played to our strengths on that too.”
Could the s’more song be just the beginning?
“Barry Manilow started with jingles,” Koudouris said.
Clearly, they’re still hoping for s’more.
See Their Full Interview On Pittsburgh Today Live