Some super Seahawks fans are getting their shot in the spotlight, sharing the screen with Richard Sherman and his mom in a new commercial in what they’re calling a “once in a lifetime” experience.
The Shermans were selected to star in this year’s installments of the Campbell’s Chunky Soup campaign, which debuts next month. And the producers ultimately decided the commercials should include some of those crazy 12s you always see in the stands.
They connected with Cedric James Morris, a Seahawks fanatic who lives in Los Angeles and who led the effort to make Beverly Sherman the official face of the “Mama’s Boy” campaign. Morris helped hook them up with a number of the hard core fans who get all decked out for games.
After auditioning a number of them via Skype, the producers ultimately settled on the guy who goes by Sea Hulk and the couple known as Mr. and Mrs. Seahawk to join Morris in the commercial.
“They treated us like royalty,” gushes Jeff Schumaier. “They come pick us up in a limo at the house, take you to the airport, fly you there, pick you up in a limo, take you to the nicest hotel, oh my goodness. It was right out of Hollywood,” he says of the commercial shoot that took place over several days in May.
The Auburn couple – decked out in their blue and green wigs and face paint – have been fixtures at Seahawks games for decades. While getting the casting call to appear alongside the Shermans was a dream come true, Jeff says he’s really happy his wife DeDe got the chance to shine.
“She has spent so many years getting up in the morning, painting herself up, and then painting me. She created the wigs and what have you. All this time and effort. It’s really cool.”
The experience was unlike anything Sea Hulk Tim Froemke had ever been through. The mild-mannered construction worker from the small town of Ritzville in Eastern Washington says he was overwhelmed by the trip, starting with the five-star Beverly Hills hotel.
“It was $1,800 for four nights at the hotel, $60 for breakfast, $8 for water out by the pool. Holy cow,” he says.”
When it came time to shoot the spot, Tim had some idea of what it would take to get ready. After all, he spends up to five hours before each Seahawks game getting his muscle-bound body painted.
But he admits he got pretty nervous, especially as his makeup delayed the start of shooting and some “uptight English guy (an assistant director)” started freaking out, shouting and frantically trying to speed things up. But Tim says once Sherman showed up, the star would have none of it.
“He laughed and joked and just loosened everybody up. Anybody would screw up their lines, he’d pat you on the back and laugh it up.”
Jeff and Tim are sworn to secrecy, agreeing not to disclose anything that actually happens in the commercial. But Jeff says Sherman and his mom couldn’t have been more friendly and gracious throughout the shoot.
“What incredible, fun people to be around. We laughed so hard sometimes we had tears in our eyes. It was so fun. I’ll never forget it,” Jeff says. “When you see him smiling and goofing around on TV, that’s really how he is. He’s just a really super nice guy. We’ve met a lot of athletes who think they’re bigger than the world. Richard doesn’t think that. He’s just a normal guy.”
Both Tim and Jeff agree they were most surprised by how long the process took. Even Sherman grew weary at some point.
“Two 15 hour days to make a 30 second commercial. It was crazy,” Jeff says. “Take after take. On Saturday night, Richard finally looks over and goes ‘I think that’s a good one,’ and they all looked at each other started going ‘yeah, that was a good one.'”
You could forgive Mr. and Mrs. Seahawk and Sea Hulk for coming home from Hollywood with delusions of grandeur.
Tim admits he’d love it if someone noticed his exceptional shape for a soon-to-be 57-year-old guy and sign him up to sponsor something like nutritional supplements.
But Jeff says even though his co-workers have started calling him “Hollywood,” the long-time truck driver doesn’t have any stars in his eyes.
“No, we’re not going Hollywood,” he laughs.
But considering how much play the Chunky Soup commercials will get throughout the upcoming season, thanks to the Super Bowl and Sherman’s celebrity, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if the super fans gain an even bigger following of their own.