N.H. man a Super winner


PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) – Gino Bona’s super ad is going to the Super Bowl.

The Portsmouth man, who works for a marketing company in Portland, Maine, beat out 10,000 contestants in a competition to pitch ideas “for the best NFL Super Bowl commercial ever. Seriously.”

Bona, 33, had 90 seconds to present and act out his idea to a panel of three judges in November at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The public then had a chance to vote for their favorite via the Internet at www.NFL.com/superad. Bona’s idea came in second in fan votes, but the NFL had the final say and picked his pitch.

The Web site now shows a video of Bona’s pitch – vignettes of sad football fans at the end of the season packing away their foam fingers and scrubbing off their body paint – set to the song, “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” by R&B group Boyz 2 Men.

“One scene would be of a bartender sliding over a season-long, $6,000 tab to patrons, and you see the faces of the guys saying, ‘Oh no!”‘ Bona said in his pitch.

Of the pitch, “I wanted to tap into the patheticness of NFL fans once the Super Bowl is over and they realize there is no NFL football,” he said.

Bona got the call on his cell phone Monday, while at Syracuse University in upstate New York, where he was to have joined the graduate business program.

He had to promise not to spill the beans until a newspaper story ran Tuesday.

“I ran out into the hallway of the building. I was very excited,” he said. He said he was told he’d be going to Los Angeles to film the commercial.

Bona now will defer his studies until May. He planned to review and sign off on the script this week, then will fly to Los Angeles next week.

On the Net:

NFL superad: www.NFL.com/superad

Information from: Foster’s Daily Democrat, http://www.fosters.com

AP-ES-01-09-07 1644EST