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Sophomores’ ad appears on NBC

Amber Travis | Monday, November 19, 2007

Notre Dame sophomores Cristina Bufalino, Maria Bufalino and Mandy Miller won an NBC-sponsored campus-wide commercial contest Friday.

The commercial “But on Saturday…” debuted Saturday afternoon during halftime of the football game against Duke.

“I was really proud of our commercial being on television. That was the coolest part of it all,” Maria Bufalino said.

The commercial focused on game-day traditions, Bufalino said – “tailgating, the band and the student section.”

The sound of a snare drum and cymbals played throughout the commercial, which was produced and directed by sophomores Brandon Drenon and Danielle Sclafani.

“It was uniquely created and really made the viewer feel as if you were a part of the Notre Dame game day experience,” said Lindsay Fitz, project manager of communications and marketing for NBC Sports. “It really gets the viewers involved.”

The “Notre Dame Student Promotional Challenge” was the first contest of its kind for NBC. Fitz said the network wanted to work with Notre Dame because of the relationship between Notre Dame and NBC.

“It provided a unique opportunity for the students of the University,” Fitz said.

The rules of the contest, Fitz said, were pretty basic.

The contest was open to all current Notre Dame students. The commercials also had to fill a 30-second time slot. The winners were announced on NBC.com and given the opportunity to meet with NBC producers.

The winners successfully followed all of the necessary rules and won due to the popularity of the commercial, Fitz said.

The writers of the commercial are not Film, Television and Theatre majors, so they expressed their appreciation for Drenon and Sclafani’s work.

“We couldn’t have done any of it without them,” Bufalino said.

Making the commercial was an exciting process, the sophomores said.

“I enjoyed it all,” Drenon said. “As far as the process of putting everything together, everything went kind of smoothly.

“It was my first major production that had the potential to be played on television, so I was extremely excited. It was a good feeling to know that millions of people saw what I created. There was a good sense of pride and accomplishment.”

Bufalino said she and the others involved in the commercial were grateful to everyone who took part in their success.

“Everyone has been very helpful and supportive,” Bufalino said.

The Notre Dame student body played a major part in the decision to create the contest, Fitz said.

“They’re the ones that contribute to the pride and heritage of Notre Dame, and this is why we really wanted to promote the commercial,” she said.