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The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is ready for its close-up.
A University-produced commercial will debut Saturday during ESPN3’s broadcast of the Herbert Heymann Football Classic, the first game of the Ragin’ Cajuns football season. Kickoff is 6 p.m. at Cajun Field, but there’s no definite time when the 30-second spot will air.
The commercial stars students, student-athletes, faculty and graduates. It rocks to a tune written and performed by the University’s zydeco ensemble and capitalizes on the campus’ beauty.
ESPN provides time during the network’s game broadcast for the University to promote itself.
The Office of Communications and Marketing began planning the 30-second spot in January. Aimée Bullinger Abshire, the University’s director of web communications, managed the project.
“We tried to convey an overall theme of the University – we preserve the past, we improve the present, and we’re innovating the future,” she said.
A student-written tune sets the commercial’s pace. The Zydeco Ragin’ Steppers, an ensemble affiliated with the University’s Traditional Music program, recorded the song. The group’s student members and coach, musician Nathan Williams Jr., make a cameo as well.
About 40 students and student-athletes participated in the spot’s creation as cast members and extras.
International student Sofiyat Ibrahim, a native of Lagos, Nigeria, said she couldn’t pass up a chance to share her affection for the University with a national audience.
“I love UL, and it’s an awesome opportunity to showcase that,” said Ibrahim, a pre-law and public relations double major.
Aaron Martin, UL Lafayette’s chief communications officer, called the commercial “a homegrown product.”
“We knew that no one could tell our story to a national audience better than we could,” he said. “The talent, the setting, the music, the technical expertise – everything we needed to make this commercial was right here.”
Want a sneak peak? View the commercial on the University's Youtube page.
Caption: A production crew from Lafayette-based Holbrook Multi Media film student actors in UL Lafayette's Quadrangle. The scene opens a University-produced national television commercial set to debut Saturday on ESPN. (Credit: Doug Dugas / University of Louisiana at Lafayette)