Aspiring N.Y. Filmmaker Wins Chevy Contest to Create Super Bowl Ad

Zach Borst made 'Happy Grad' spot

Zach Borst, an aspiring Long Island, N.Y., filmmaker, has won Chevrolet’s Route 66 Super Bowl ad contest with his "Chevy Happy Grad" commercial.

The 26-year-old’s ad, produced in 60- and 30-second versions, uses a humorous vignette in which a new high-school grad mistakenly thinks his parents have given him a yellow Camaro, only to have a neighbor, the car’s actual owner, drive away in it.

The spot will appear on the Feb. 5 Super Bowl as one of the four ads Chevy has bought in the game. Borst also receives $25,000 from the General Motors brand for the ad, which he filmed on location in Floral Park, N.Y., in just four hours. The Long Island native says he’s been producing films since his childhood and has founded his own production company, Goat Farm Films.

During the Chevy Route 66 contest, filmmakers from 32 countries submitted 400 scripts and 198 films for consideration.

“We asked filmmakers to depict life’s journey and how Chevrolet is there along the way,” Joel Ewanick, GM’s global chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “When I saw Zach’s spot, I had to laugh because the situation is something many families can relate to—expectation and reality.”

As for Borst, he described the ad’s inspiration this way: “My Dad was a cop and worked real hard to buy his kids their first cars. They were used, but mine meant the world to me. Then I wondered: What would it look like if I got a brand new Camaro? I mean, after all, who wouldn’t want a Camaro as a graduation gift?”

Chevy is also launching a "Chevy Game Time" app, from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, that will allow Super Bowl viewers to play trivia, interact with each other via Twitter, participate in polls and win one of 20 Chevrolets or “thousands” of other prizes from Chevy partners like Bridgestone, Motorola, the NFL and, Papa John’s Pizza and Sirius XM. In addition, players will also receive a license plate number and if their plate appears during a Chevy ad during the game or online, they win a vehicle.

“We want to encourage Super Bowl conversations and integrate advertising during the game onto a second screen,” said Andrew Dinsdale, assistant director for digital and CRM, Chevrolet. “We want clicks, downloads, people viewing spots via the app. We’ll also get an amazing amount of learning from it. We’re not doing this just because it’s cool—we want to get ahead, we don’t want to wait and see other brands do it next year.”