For Westchase resident and Steinbrenner High School senior April Fisher, it was a dream come true.
Ever since she was a little girl, she loved going to the Florida State Fair. Now she was part of history in its first commercial using regular people, instead of actors.
“It’s different from any commercial out there right now,” said Rip Stalvey, director of marketing for the Florida State Fair Authority.
By summer, 180 submissions had been received from the public who saw posts on social media and one print advertisement to participate in its first commercial using regular people. Participants would receive both a souvenir tee shirt and free admission to next year’s Fair.
Fisher said that she discovered the opportunity because her mother read an article and knew her daughter would be a perfect fit. She submitted an application and exchanged emails weeks leading up to the commercial.
While last year’s commercial required two days to film, this year, the commercial took two hours and fifteen minutes on one hot Saturday in August.
“We started shooting at a quarter to 10am and had everything we needed by noon, and that’s unheard of,” Stalvey said. “Everybody got the concept of what we trying to do and there was no complex choreography. It just flowed very, very well.”
“For the first part, we were separated into groups and stood in a field and they a (remote control) helicopter with camera connected to it fly overhead,” April said. “We had to stand there, act excited, wave at the camera and say how we liked the Fair. Everyone that brought livestock brought their animals.”
Afterwards the participants who memorized a jingle emailed earlier in the week walked up and down a sidewalk singing the tune.
“All of the livestock were there and the cheerleaders did some of their stunts. If you didn’t know the jingle, you sat at picnic benches and waved,” Fisher said. “I’ve been going to the Fair since I was a little girl so I really wanted to do this commercial. I like to see all the different cool things that you can see only at the Fair.”
Among those, Stalvey said that a new offering is “deep fried bubble gum,” where bubble gum-flavored marshmallows are batter-fried and served pink and piping hot.
In addition to the commercial, a behind-the-scenes video was shot capturing the commercial production. It will soon be available to view on YouTube.
April said, “They told us that’s there’s never actually been real people doing a commercial before. It’s nice to be a part of something new and be able to see myself on TV supporting something that I really enjoy.”
The commercial is scheduled to begin airing lightly in December and more frequently, closer to the Fair, which is scheduled for Feb. 9-20, 2012.
“Who better to feature in a commercial than those people who love the Fair,” Stalvey said. “I think everyone participating will be really pleased.”