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Auburn High graduate shines in yogurt commercial for Super Bowl Sunday
Even before the Dannon Oikos Yogurt ad aired on Super Bowl Sunday, it had already gone viral, racking up more than two million likes.
Its highlight, a beautiful young woman wiping surplus yogurt from John Stamos' lips, and well, being a bit suggestive when the stuff goes astray.
Auburnites, take a close look — the woman is Auburn High School graduate Jen Nikolaisen.
The Auburn native and ardent Seahawks fan said by phone from Los Angeles that she'd been, surprised, nay, thrilled to learn that the ad, one of two Dannon ads in the can, was set to air during Sunday's Super Bowl.
"It's exceeding my wildest expectations," Nikolaisen said of the spot. "It was a pleasure to book it, to shoot it, and the fact that it's getting so much hype and buzz is incredible. Mostly, I'm excited that I'm in this Super Bowl. Being from the Seattle area, and with the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, I'm way beyond thrilled. It would have been cool anyway, but with the Seahawks there and that folks back home are going to get to see it, it's really exciting."
The ad, shot Dec. 17, reunited Stamos with fellow "Full House" alumni Bob Saget and Dave Coulier. Nikolaisen said the trio cracked a lot of jokes during the shoot, which took place in a private home in Brentwood, Calif.
Between takes, Nikolaisen said, Stamos played guitar and hummed show tunes from "Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat."
"He was good. He says he's no good, but he's very talented. The man has done a couple concerts with the Beach Boys in Hawaii," Nikolaisen said of Stamos.
Nikolaisen explained how the commercial was made.
"For everything there's multiple takes. Every instance, you see is a completely different camera and lighting move. At the beginning of the commercial, it's over my shoulder, and I'm wiping his lips, so there's just one camera that shoots. And then they cut to both of us, that's a whole different camera move. There's always multiple takes because, one, they're trying to get performance and give the editor options. Additionally, on commercial shoots there's a director, but there's also the client there and the ad agency. When you're shooting a film or even a TV show, it's the director's decision. But when you're shooting a commercial, it's the decision of the director, the ad agency and the client. So there's a lot of people who are weighing in.
"Here, knowing it was going to be a Super Bowl commercial, knowing that the tone was somewhat provocative, we did do a lot of takes of it, playing with how much we wanted to push it. You know, do we want to make it sweeter or more provocative? We definitely did some takes that were more provocative than what made the final cut."
As for considering the "Full House" reunion, a number of different lines were tried to invoke the relationship of the three men on that show. Outakes may be found on the Oikos Bromance website.
As for her earnings from the spot, Nikolaisen said, she was paid according to the standard union rate. She said she'd count herself lucky if her take-home from the shoot was $10,000.
"I think people assume that if you make an appearance on a TV show that you live in a gorgeous house and make a lot of money," Nikolaisen said. "But the truth is that the money is not what it used to be. I'm hoping it pays a couple months of rent. Now what I'll get paid for is how many times it plays after that."
In a later interview, Nikolaisen said that she had watched the game in the apartment she shares with her fiancé in Los Angeles.
"I had a blast. I was wearing my Seahawks shirt and barbecuing — because we're in LA, we can do that," she said.
After her commercial aired in the fourth quarter, she said, it got a bit tougher to watch the game because her phone started to ring and emails and messages from friends started to arrive in battalions.
"Like any Seattle Seahawks' fan, I'm overjoyed with the win," Nikolaisen said. "I feel like it was a long time coming. They dominated. They were incredible in that game."
Nikolaisen, who caught the acting bug playing Mrs. Santa Claus as a second-grader at Lake Tapps Middle School, has shot many commercials. At the moment she is shooting part three of the film, "Atlas Shrugged."
"I play Cheryl Taggart, the abused wife of one of the men, and it's very dramatic," Nikolaisen said of her role.
Nikolaisen is the daughter of Linda and Richard Nikolaisen.
Auburn native Jen Nikolaisen shares a lighter moment with actor John Stamos during the filming of a Dannon Oikos Yogurt ad that aired on Super Bowl Sunday. courtesy photo, Barry Berona