Grambling State University’s faculty and students came together to create a “Click it or Ticket” it commercial last Thursday, on GSU’s campus.
The commercial is intedned to encourage audiences to buckle up before traveling anywhere. The scene consists of the Orchesis Dance Company, GSU Cheerleading team, the World Famed Tiger, cheerleading coach Terry Lilly and Police Chief Kelly. The dancers were dressed as flight attendants with seat belts demonstrating how to buckle up, as flight attendants would do on airlines. The next scene simply encourages the audience to not drink and drive.
Behind the scenes, the production team consisted of Lyn Hare, Mark Hutto, Jacques Prudhome, Avia Knighten, Roosevelt Smith, Kaderra Hilts, Ceasar Jeanbrice Christian Bailey, Abrielle Chester, Raven LeDay, Deja Harrison, Raegan Higgins, Chelsea Rene, Nia Pressley and Janet Jackson. The producer and director of the commercial was Alan Blackney and the assistant director was Rebecca Blackney.
“My interpretation of the commercial is to help brand Grambling,” Nia Pressley said. “I believe it was to show that Grambling State University approves of the message being sent.”
The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission came with the idea to have the band spell out “click it or ticket” during the halftime performances. The challenge was to build a Public Service Announcement that included that message and the “drive sober or get pulled over” message in the commercial and make it entertaining.
“I wrote the storyboards and presented it to Dr. Duhon, Dr. Thomas and Mr. Hill with the LHSC and when they approved it, we started planning the commercial,” Alan Blackney said.
From there, the idea of having a parade and using the dancers, directed by Pressley in stewardess uniforms, demonstrating seatbelts on a daily basis.
The drive sober piece of the commercial was added by the LHSC. Chief Kelly was added to underscore the importance of not driving while under the influence.
The commercial’s estimated cost was over $14,000, including all equipment, costumes and the production. Stacey Duhon was responsible for obtaining grant funding for the commercial along with Thomas, Tara Heath and Jonathan Hill from the LHSC.
The commercial has been released on social media by Grambling and LHSC. It will be distributed to regional over the air and cable networks on Oct. 30.
“So far the response to the commercial has been overwhelmingly favorable,” Alan Blackney said.