Psshh! A commercial created by a UCF graduate for only $30 during his office’s lunch break could air during the world’s biggest advertising showcase.

Brandy Gill’s Pepsi Max commercial beat out 5,600 other entries, placing him as a top ten finalist in the Doritos and Pepsi Max “Crash the Super Bowl Challenge.”

The top three commercials from each of the Doritos and Pepsi Max categories will be shown during Super Bowl XLV on Sunday, Feb. 6.  Fans can vote for their favorite at through Sunday, Jan. 30.

Gill’s commercial features his co-workers saying “Pshhh!” in disbelief when they’re told that Pepsi Max has no calories during a focus group meeting.

“We weren’t expecting it to get so far,” Gill said.  “We were just making the video for fun.”

Gill graduated from UCF in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Advertising and Public Relations.  He began his studies in the Radio-Television program, but after working as an intern at a local news station, Gill decided to move in another direction. 

“Live news is very stressful, and the schedule just wasn’t for me,” said Gill.

It was in Professor Peter Cranis’ advertising classes that Gill found his creative calling.

“The Advertising Copywriting and Ad Campaigns classes really piqued my interest in what it would be like to work in the creative department in an ad agency,” he said.

While at UCF, Gill participated in Quotes, UCF’s student chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association. He spent most of his time gaining valuable internship experience that would eventually lead him to his first job in advertising. 

“I had professors that really went out of their way to help me get an internship, and I feel like internships were more helpful than anything because they gave me to opportunity for hands-on learning,” said Gill.

Now the creative director at Acropolis Ad Agency, Gill draws inspiration from everything from TV shows, music, and art, to daily life.  In fact, the “Psshh” idea came from Gill noticing his friends making the sound to declare disbelief.

“In advertising you really have to be aware of everything that’s going on around you,” Gill said. “You really have to connect with consumers and with the things that are going on in their lives and popular culture.”