Finding the Monkeys with Alaska Air + Global Partners

Friday, July 8, 2016

I've been getting texts and Facebook messages and Instagram comments:

"Did I just see you in an Alaska commercial?"

"How did you get in an Alaska commercial?!"

The rumors are true. Raz and I were "real and interesting" people in the newest Alaska Air spot, which is apparently airing during a lot of primetime shows.

So here's how it happened: I am a part of Alaska's Insight's group, which basically means I answer surveys and give them advice to help them improve. I've had high status the past two years because of my work travel, and I tweet at them often—about baggage delays, about my dreams of Fruit & Cheese, about my excitement for upcoming trips. Given my status and love for Twitter, I think they thought I'd be eager to fill out surveys for them. THEY WERE RIGHT.

The Insights group is a new thing. I'm not completely sure, but I think they started it the month they invited me to join it. I'm just that major, I guess. :)

One day I got an email: "Last Chance to Star in Our Next Commercial!" I'm pretty on top of refreshing my email and swear I never got the first one. Either way, it said I just had to answer a few questions ("If you could go anywhere, where would you go? What do you love most about Alaska?"), which were pieces of cake, and send a photo. So I did.

A couple days later they asked me some follow-up questions, and I was invited to come in and talk to them at this random, new apartment building common room in West Seattle.

I figured I had nothing to lose and had been fighting traffic earlier to get to a job interview in Tukwila, so talking to Alaska people about why I loved them at some random apartment building in West Seattle was a welcome change in my day. I have spent a LOT of time flying with them, to a LOT of places, so I was happy to prattle on and on and on. I filled out some paperwork and was called into a room with, essentially, a hot seat in the middle, a bunch of people around the sides (clients and agency people) and two British director guys in front.

They asked me the same questions from the email, along with a few more, we all laughed, they thanked me, and I went home.

A few days after that, I was waiting to go in to another job interview, and got an email asking my husband's name and can I please send a photo.

I have experience with this. I built the eHarmony profile that got my friend married and pregnant within a year. I know what I'm doing when it comes to selecting photos that show how fun and well-rounded people are. I sent three photos, along with his name and how to pronounce it. They thanked me and said, basically, "this does not mean you've been selected."

No skin off my nose, I figured. But I knew they wanted me, and they wanted Raz to ride my coattails. I had mentioned him when I talked to them at that apartment building in West Seattle.

Again, a few days passed. Then they started calling and emailing—lots of different people—saying we were selected and to send our availability for two days in the next week and asking various other questions.

We were in! We had no idea what it meant.

The next week, we went in to a big warehouse by the airport with a bunch of outfits they told us to bring ("We want you to look like you're coming home from a tropical vacation"). Of course they didn't use anything that I brought for myself, but all they did was change Raz's shirt and fluff his hair. Boys...

There were people everywhere and chaos and a woman making quesadillas. It took about two hours for my outfit to be selected. They ended up letting me wear my own sweater and sandals, but that was it. They wanted to remove my lashes. Thank God they couldn't. They painted my nails coral to seem more "tropical." They were still tacky when they wanted me to wheel in my bag for our big debut, and someone else had to do it for me so I wouldn't mess up my mani. That's when I really felt like a star.

When it was our turn, we stood on our marks on a blue screen in front of a green screen and answered the same questions again.

"If you could go anywhere, where would you go?"

"What do you love about Alaska?"

That's why we look all shifty eyed and weird. We were in a huge room staring at a bunch of people answering the same questions over and over. But I suppose that's the life of an actor!

The whole process was maybe 20 minutes once we were in? I can't be sure. They laughed again and clapped (after they asked if I would have wine with my Fruit & Cheese and I said "sure, why not?" and then asked Raz if he would have the same and he said "I just like the jerky and beer,") and said we "nailed it" and they wanted to send me some Fruit & Cheese because I clearly loved it so much. It was one of those experiences we get to use in those "Two Truths and a Lie" icebreakers now.

The commercial is out and I was shocked to see they closed with us. Basically, we're the Kendall Jenner of this thing. I embedded it below. 

And that's the story of how Raz and I became commercial stars. We're still the same people you know and love, just slightly more famous. 



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