When Pepsi MAX’s #GordonTestDrive commercial went viral in March, NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon wasn’t the only one at the wheel. UCF alumna Kristina Krkljus, who works at TWBA\CHIAT\DAY in Los Angeles, served as the art director for the commercial that gained 7 million views in just two days.
In the commercial, Gordon, who has been sponsored by Pepsi MAX for more than 10 years, disguises himself as a suburban dad and takes a Chevrolet Camaro for a test drive.
Since its release March 12, the video has received more than 31 million views.
“We wanted to leverage Jeff Gordon in an interesting way,” said Krkljus. “We wanted to create a piece of content that would appeal to a larger audience and break out of the niche following in the motorsports world.”
Krkljus graduated from UCF in 2007 with a degree in interpersonal and organizational communication. During her time at UCF, the Orlando native was a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority and interned at Y Partnership (now MMGY Global), a travel and tourism marketing firm that inspired her interest in art direction and design.
“Learning the ebb and flow of a real agency was huge,” said Krkljus. “The more experience you have, the better – more real life experience and more people to talk on your behalf.”
Krkljus began her internship in the media department but soon moved into the production department, where she first began considering portfolio school. From 2007 to 2009, she attended Miami Ad School for art direction.
Since then, Krkljus has created collateral for brands such as PUR, Adidas, Tostitos, Pinkberry, Gatorade and Polaroid. Throughout various projects, she has worked with celebrities including Wanda Sykes, Julie Bowen, Flavor Flav, Elton John and David Beckham.
To watch the viral Test Drive commercial, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5mHPo2yDG8. And to learn more about Krkljus, follow her on Twitter.