Cherilyn Ann Gumiit

Media Buyer, WongDoody

By Published on .

Cherilyn Ann Gumiit, whose simple newspaper buy won a top honor at the Cannes International Advertising Festival, is by any measure an advertising Cinderella.
Cherilyn Ann Gumiit, Media Buyer, WongDoody
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Ms. Gumiit was the media buyer behind an ad that transformed an everyday newsprint ad into a body-painting kit and website, and national TV exposure. WongDoody client Alaska Airlines had sponsored the Seattle Seahawks since the 1970s. But this year, the team made its way to the Super Bowl, and the airline called for the traditional "congratulations" print ad.

WongDoody wanted to go further. A creative realized that on wet skin, the color in ordinary newsprint would become body paint. A concept was hatched: Alaska Airlines would take out a spread in the team's blue and green colors and give airline-style directions for making the body painting kit.

But getting approvals wasn't that easy. The faux-body paint had to be tested on humans to be certain it wouldn't cause an allergic reaction. "It had never been done before," says Ms. Gumiit. "And we had to be sure we got the Seahawks colors right."

To integrate the effort, a website was created where fans could post photos of their body paint creations. In two days, the site received 220,000 hits (even though butt-cheek entries were not allowed online).

The coup de grace came on Super Bowl Sunday. While others paid millions for those coveted spots, the newspaper kit, which cost about $130,000, was featured in some of the fan coverage on ESPN. In all, Alaska Airlines estimated it got at least $400,000 in nonpaid publicity.

Starting at WongDoody's Seattle office answering the phone, Ms. Gumiit learned "good communications skills," she says. Media Director Jerry May started handing her assignments.

Now the 31-year-old Ms. Gumiit, who also works on the accounts for Clif Bar's nutrition bars and ultrasound maker SonoSite, holds a business card with the title "Media Diva."

"She can make the dollars go further" and impresses even Alaska Airlines partners such as Mexico and Disneyland, says Molly Brown, manager-advertising and promotions for Alaska Airlines. "She's a mega media diva," says Ms. Brown.

* Doesn't have a degree but developed into "media diva"

* Body-painting experiment scored a touchdown
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