Behind one of the buzziest Super Bowl ads leading up to this Sunday’s ultimate football contest, Super Bowl XLVIII, are recent UM graduates Taylor Lucas, B.S.C. ’11, and Nick Marchese, B.S.C. ’11, billed, respectively, as the art director and copywriter for the 30-second Cheerios spot featuring a multiracial family. 

University of Miami School of Communication (SoC) graduates Lucas and Marchese helped create the follow-up ad to a May 2013 Cheerios commercial featuring the same family—a black dad, a white mom, and their young daughter. The original ad, titled “Just Checking,”  attracted a slew of racist comments online but also garnered a great deal of positive attention, quickly going viral.

Both UM grads, from the Class of 2011, now work for the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, one of the most prestigious advertising agencies in the country. The pair worked as a team-Marchese, 24, as the copywriter and Lucas, 25, as the art director. While at UM, Marchese majored in creative advertising and Lucas majored in advertising and graphic art. Both interned at the New York advertising firm before being offered full-time jobs there..

SoC Advertising Professor Alyse Lancaster, who was one of their advisors, remembers Marchese and Lucas as being extremely talented. It does not surprise her that the pair have gained national attention at such a young age.

“Nick had a very unique talent to look at a problem differently than anyone else,” said Lancaster. “He is a reader and has an intuitive ability to understand issues. And Taylor was one of the most intuitive, talented designers I’ve ever seen in the program.”

She recalled that while at UM, both students were part of the student team that won first place for the 2011 National Student Advertising Competition.

Professor Meryl Blau, who also advised Lucas and Marchese, said, “Nick and Taylor were a couple of the most passionate students we’ve had in the program with a true love for the industry.

“These two came in every day ready to create something better than the day before,” she said. “I remember the day they paired up as a team, and I knew they would be unstoppable. I couldn’t be more proud and impressed with where they are today.”

To view last year’s ad, go to: The 2014 ad slated to run during Super Bowl XLVIII can be seen below.

Barbara Gutierrez,  of University Communications, contributed this report.