Narehood — a Tipton native who’s one of five finalists in the Dove Cream Oil Body Wash Ad Contest — knew about the contest, which required her to make her own commercial for the product, but didn’t decide to enter until her boyfriend pushed her into it.
“The deadline was on a (Wednesday) and we filmed it on Sunday, edited it on Monday and it finally got uploaded just a few hours before the deadline,” Narehood says.
As last-minute decisions go, it was a good one.
Narehood, 22, a 2003 Bellwood-Antis High School graduate now living in Pittsburgh, will be flown to Los Angeles on Feb. 22, be treated to a spa day and watch the Academy Awards at a private viewing party. During the Oscar ceremony Feb. 24, two of the contest’s finalists will have their homemade ads played nationally during a commercial break.
Oscar viewers will then be asked to vote online or by text message for their favorite ad. The winner will be played in full later in the broadcast.
Dove marketing director Kathy O’Brien said by e-mail that the company wanted to get amateur ads to “embrace real women.”
“For several years, we have been using an advertising format known as ‘real women testimonials,’” O’Brien said. “For the launch of the new Dove Supreme Cream Oil Body Washes, we wanted to give women control of the creative process and let them be a part of one of the biggest nights in entertainment.”
Narehood’s ad purposely departed from the traditional shower scene that is shown in so many shampoo and soap advertisements.
‘‘I thought ‘people know what to do in a shower,’’’ she says of her unique ad. ‘‘Dove has that whole ‘natural beauty’ campaign and we wanted to play off of that.’’
The subsequent 30-second clip shows Narehood, who is Academic Support Coordinator at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (the psychiatric wing of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center), sitting alone in front of a white backdrop, talking about ‘‘personal luxury’’ and ‘‘true beauty.’’
‘‘My boyfriend (Andy Kelemen) said ‘Well, why don’t you enter and I can help you with any technical stuff,’’’ she says. ‘‘I talked for about 20 minutes and didn’t have a script and just said whatever I thought.’’
Narehood was a natural for the contest, Kelemen said.
‘‘A co-worker of mine recommended the contest to me and it seemed like something that was right up her alley,’’ the 22-year-old said. ‘‘She’s a very creative person.’’
Kelemen, who studied film at the University of Pittsburgh and works at WQED-TV in Pittsburgh, helped Narehood record the ad, but soon forgot about the entry — until it became a finalist.
‘‘To be honest, looking how many submissions there were, I was pretty surprised (at the achievement),’’ he said. ‘‘I was certainly taken aback when she told me.’’
The spot was recorded in her apartment and is by far the simplest of the five finalists — which include a 73-year old breast cancer survivor talking about using Dove throughout her long life and three spots that use the ‘‘girl in the shower’’ approach.
Narehood admitted that getting into the contest late gave the other ads a an advantage.
‘‘All these other ads already had tens of thousands of views,’’ she says. ‘‘The other four contestants were all in the top 10 voted and I was maybe in the top 50.’’
But, because online voting counted for just a small percentage of a video’s score, her ad made it to the finals on the vote of Dove’s own judging panel.
“Submissions ... were reviewed by an anonymous panel of judges, who were responsible for identifying the top five entries,” O’Brien said. “Judging criteria to determine two grand prize winners will be based on originality and creativity of the content, adherence to the original creative assignment, consumer feedback and the overall appeal.”
The voting for the two finalists ended on Feb. 6, so Narehood has to be patient until the Oscars. But she isn’t going to be crushed if she doesn’t win.
‘‘As far as it stands, I still get to have this trip to L.A.,’’ she explains. ‘‘I don’t want a career in film and television — I’m perfectly happy in coordination.’’
Still, she’s anxious for the winner to be announced.
‘‘They’re not going to tell us the final two until it’s aired on the Oscars,’’ Narehood says. ‘‘Basically, all my friends and family, I’m telling them to tune into the Oscars.
‘‘And if I’m not on, sorry for wasting your time.’’
Mirror Staff Writer Keith Frederick is at 946-7466.
Tipton native Sheena Narehood will fly to Los Angeles next week to find out if her homemade ad will be shown on national television.