Former SCA student wins Super Bowl competition

first_imgScott Zabielski, a graduate of the School of Cinematic Arts, won first place in the Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” contest on Sunday with a commercial he directed called, “Middle Seat,” which aired during the Super Bowl. His commercial won him $1 million and a job at Universal Pictures.The 30-second commercial features a man who lands the aisle seat on an airplane with no one sitting in the middle seat. As new passengers are boarding the plane, he exhausts a number of impolite behaviors — crippling his toenails, coughing profusely and playing the flute — to deter passengers from sitting beside him.The man eventually sees an attractive woman — played by a Trojan alumna — walk down the aisle. He smiles at her while holding up a bag of Doritos in an effort to get her to take the seat, which she does. Seconds later, he finds out she is carrying a crying baby, played by Zabielski’s son.Zabielski explained that he came up with the commercial’s storyline with the goal of creating jokes that were relatable to all of his viewers.“I kind of think that the best humor is the type where people can relate to it,” Zabielski said. “They can look at something and say, ‘That’s funny because it’s true.’ I think we’ve all been in that situation, if you’ve ever flown in an airplane, where you have that seat open next to you and you see people coming down the aisle towards you and you’re trying to think of anything you can to keep that seat empty. I kind of wanted to play with the idea that if you were going to make a total fool of yourself and do outrageous things, what would you do to keep the seat empty.”Zabielski was also an executive producer on the comedy television show Tosh.O. His commercial had a $2,000 budget, though he only decided to move forward with the project two weeks before the submission deadline.“I have always wanted to direct commercials, and I’ve been working in TV for the last several years,” Zabielski said. “I basically get into commercials from TV. You have to do a special commercial to prove that you can do something in 30 seconds instead of what I do on my show which can be three or four minutes. So, I realized that the Doritos contest deadline was coming up, and I decided to make the spec commercial a Doritos commercial. I kind of entered on a whim.”Zabielski worked on the commercial with his wife, Genevieve Younce Zabielski. She was instrumental to the success of the commercial as she helped with production and ran the social media campaigns.The contest, which had more than 4,900 entries, had two winners: a grand prize winner chosen by the public via online voting and a runner-up chosen by Doritos.Zabielski did not find out that he had won the contest until it aired during the Super Bowl. After the game, he was presented with his prize in a Super Bowl suite alongside his family and friends.Zabielski said that he does not have details on his new position at Universal Pictures yet, but he hopes that the new job will allow him to further his career.The 2011 winners of the Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” contest, J.R. Burningham and Tess Ortbals, were also USC graduates who won with their commercial, “Pug Attack.”last_img