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Super Bowl TV ads showcase the work of Miami students

On Sunday, millions of viewers can watch creativity rooted in South Florida: Students from at least two local colleges have helped create Super Bowl ads airing this year.

Super Bowl XLVIII, between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, is expected to be one of the most widely viewed television events of the year. Last year, an estimated 108 million Americans watched the Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. Companies are paying an estimated $4 million to have their ads be a part of the action, according to the Associated Press.

Those who resist the urge to Tivo through the commercials will see the work of University of Miami graduates Taylor Lucas and Nick Marchese in a Cheerios commercial on Sunday. The 2011 UM School of Communications graduates are billed, respectively, as the art director and copywriter for the 30-second spot.

Lucas and Marchese, who work for the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi in New York, helped create the Cherrios ad, which is a follow-up to a groundbreaking May 2013 Cheerios commercial featuring a multiracial family. The same family — a black dad, a white mom, and their young daughter — appear in the new commercial.

While at UM, Marchese majored in creative advertising and Lucas majored in advertising and graphic art. Both were promising and talented students, and were both part of the student team that won first place for the 2011 National Student Advertising Competition, the university said.

Separately, students from Miami Ad School created a 30-second commercial airing during the Super Bowl for Miami Lakes-based Vapor Zone, which sells advanced electronic cigarettes, customized flavored liquid nicotine and accessories.

Nick Molina, chief executive of Vapor Zone, said Friday that the spot was chosen from nearly 30 pitches from Miami Ad School students. The suggestive ad shows a young man standing in a men’s room, and is geared to make viewers wonder about his activity.

“We really wanted to create something that was going to be cutting edge and would be worthy of talking about on Monday morning,” Molina said. “And we felt that the kids —they’re younger, very creative and forward thinking, and that is what we wanted: a forward thinking concept. So we were able to tap into this incredibly creative pool of kids.”

The spot will be supported by a social media campaign with 16-second teasers on Vapor Zone’s Facebook and Twitter (@VaporZoneMIA). Molina declined to provide the cost of production or airtime.

After the commercial airs during the big game, it will be released on Vapor Zone’s Youtube channel (, Molina said.