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BYU library ad finds worldwide success online

By Amanda Butterfield | Posted - Jul. 19, 2010 at 6:28 p.m.



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Old Spice commercial
PROVO -- An online ad for Brigham Young University is so popular it's gotten over 1 million hits in one week, and even aired on CNN This Morning. A BYU staff member made the ad to get more students to go to the library. It's popularity stems from how it was created: as a spoof on a popular Old Spice commercial.

"I saw it just this weekend and I loved it," said BYU student Neil Ellsworth.

"The way they managed to spoof it was very good," said BYU student Dennis Myer.

"We've gotten e-mails all over the world. We've gotten a tremendous response on YouTube. People really like it. We thought it was a good video, you know, but we didn't know it would be quite as popular as it turned out to be," said Christopher Garcia, media manager at BYU's Harold B. Lee Library.

Garcia is also the lead creator of the commercial. He and his crew shot it inside the library, and it quickly became a viral hit.

BYU library ad
"We had all the librarians send it out to their friends, and I think that's what really sent it around the world," Garcia said. "Twenty different friends of mine on Facebook posted it within like 10 minutes of each other," Ellsworth said.

Stephen Jones, an actual student at BYU studying psychology, is the star.

"A lot of people are like, ‘Oh, a black guy at BYU? What in the world?' That's the funniest thing. It's like, 'Yeah, there are black people at BYU, yes," Jones said.

Jones says he can't keep up with all the calls and text messages he's received since his commercial viral. He got even more when it ran on CNN This Morning last week.

But Garcia does not define the ad's success by Internet or the TV.

"If the video is truly successful, then people will go to the library, or go to their local library," Garcia said.

By the way, the creative director of the original Old Spice campaign is BYU graduate Jason Bagley.

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

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