Iowa State has its very own television star walking around campus.
Joe Hynek, sophomore in computer engineering and genetics, is one of the stars of the new Hy-Vee Food & Drug Store commercial that was aired for the first time last month.
Ruth Mitchell of Hy-Vee’s communication department said store officials were looking for a way to produce a new image, and they thought the contest would be a good way to bring attention to Hy-Vee’s slogan and jingle.
Hynek’s video was one of several that was entered into the contest. He submitted a video featuring him and his two sisters, Amy and Amanda, singing a jingle to the “My Hy-Vee” song.
“We just decided to do it for fun,” Hynek said.
Hynek, who made up the tune, played his guitar, and his two sisters sang along. Amy, 15, drummed oatmeal cans, while 12-year-old Amanda shook salt shakers.
“We thought it would be a good idea [to use food products] to symbolize and promote Hy-Vee,” Hynek said.
Although the trio was chosen from 1,000 entries, Hynek said he and his family had thought they won by default.
“We thought we only won because no one else entered the contest; that’s the first thing we think if we win something,” he said.
While Hynek was surprised by the win, his friends were not the least bit shocked.
“Joe is the most ‘can-do’ person I’ve ever met; anything he puts his mind to, he can do. His talents are limitless,” said Bret Winterle, junior in mechanical engineering and a friend of Hynek’s.
Hynek said he and his sisters didn’t start making the video until the night before it was due.
“We were just going for 25 bucks,” Hynek said.
The regional winners were awarded $25 in Hy-Vee gift certificates. However, Hynek and his two sisters won the Des Moines district.
As district winners, they received a $500 gift certificate and a spot on the commercial. The Hynek siblings were one of 11 groups that won roles in the commercials.
After giving some of the gift certificate to their parents, the Hyneks divided the rest of it among the three of them.
The Hynek’s video was filmed in a Des Moines park to create a picnic-like setting where the Hyneks could sing the “My Hy-Vee” song.
The final commercial, which is aired nationwide, includes the Hyneks and the other 10 groups, each singing a phrase of the jingle.
“I kind of felt like a star because they supplied clothes and even had makeup artists for us,” Hynek said.
The fact that the Hyneks are from the hometown of the first Hy-Vee, Beaconsfield, Iowa in Ringgold County, made the win even more memorable.
“I use to mow their lawn with my service, Joe’s Mow; now Amy’s mow service does it,” Hynek said.
Mitchell said store representatives were looking for a commercial that showed off singing ability, creativity and enthusiasm. The producers also were seeking people who have the “helpful smile look.”
Even though the final commmercial was different than the video the Hyneks submitted, the ISU student said he likes it.
“I like the commercial, but I wish we would have been able to express our creativity by doing it the Hynek way,” he said.