Tri-Cities natives have hand in multi-million dollar Super Bowl commercials


Two women from the Tri-Cities had their hands in advertisements of epic proportion.

They both played roles in making Super Bowl commercials come to life during Sunday night.

“I totally believe that no matter where you’re from, especially East Tennessee, that you can make amazing things,” said Mimia Johnson, a Blountville native.

Johnson had her dreams come to life on one of the world’s biggest stages Sunday. 

The 2004 graduate of Sullivan Central served as a creative director for Sunday night’s Planter’s Super Bowl ad, which ran during the game’s second quarter.

“[It was] really interesting, really tedious, but it came together perfectly,” Johnson said.

The commercial featured epic jumps, Charlie Sheen and even former MLB All-Star, Alex Rodriguez.

She says it was all part of an action-packed and intricate advertisement that began coming together in October. 

“It was a pretty complicated process in that we had to figure out the mechanics of how to make the nut-mobile fly,” said Johnson. “We then had to go back over and lay in Mr. Peanut, the 3D version of Mr. Peanut, which is created through computer graphics.”

She was not the only Tri-Cities native having her hand in a Super Bowl commercial Sunday night.

Kingsport native, Lauren Wilson, works for Bud Light’s Ad Agency, Wieden and Kennedy, as an account supervisor. 

She’s been with the company three years now, 

She helped facilitate communication between client and creative for the four different Bud Light spots.

The Dobyns-Bennett and UT graduate also helped oversee commercial production for the advertisements.

“It always an exciting experience to see the work your team has created go on air,” Wilson said. “The Super Bowl just adds another element of excitement because you know so many other people are watching and weighing in with their thoughts.

“It’s exciting to see your work pay off on such a big stage,” she said.

She previously worked on the 2017 Bud Light Super Bowl commercial that featured Spuds MacKenzie.

“That was a special Super Bowl,” Wilson said. “I was still relatively new to the agency and it was also the first time I had worked on a Super Bowl spot.”

Wilson also added some advice about making your big deams come true.

“I’d say the best way to realizing your dreams is to find things that you like and are passionate about and investigate the people and agencies that work on those things,” she said.

“Getting to your dream job can be a process,” Wilson added. You don’t have to do it all at once or in one big jump. I moved form Kingsport, to Knoxville, to Atlanta and then New York. I finally feel like I’ve made it to my dream job, and it was worth the wait.”

Both ladies who represented the Tri-Cities look forward to any opportunity to return to the big stage. 

Johnson said this year’s accomplishment, however, will be hard to beat.

“How do you top a 103-year-old peanut jumping in a nut-mobile?” she said. “I don’t know where you go from there.”

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