A Thunder Bay Ont., graphic designer says catching a glimpse of his work in a Super Bowl ad this weekend has been a « wild » experience on top of an already eventful few weeks.
The design featured on the bottles of a collaboration sauce between Thunder Bay’s Heartbeat Hot Sauce and UFC fighter Dustin Poirier made a cameo in an ad by Guaranteed Rate.
« Super wild to see … that’s always kind of my favourite part of any project. Just seeing the actual real world application of it where it ends up. So, I mean, it doesn’t really get much bigger than that, » said Keenan Kosolowski in an interview with CBC Radio.
In the commercial, the UFC fighter is seen sporting a t-shirt with Kosolowski’s design for the sauce, coined Poirier’s Louisiana Style Hot Sauce.
The ad is part of the corporation’s « Believe You Will » campaign, and marks Poirier’s recent victory against former UFC featherweight and lightweight Champion, Connor McGregor.
Poirier’s recent victory and launch of his collaboration with Heartbeat Hot Sauce has skyrocketed the local brand’s popularity, furthering its reach across the globe.
Kosolowski said having a chance to work on the project has been a rewarding experience, adding that he didn’t realize just how big the product would get.
« Especially being from Thunder Bay and Heartbeat being such an ingrained piece of the city now, it’s so cool to see it at such a world stage. Everyone at heartbeat is just like the best. So I’m really honoured that they let me work on stuff with them, » he said.
Kosolowski added the reach of the product is also a testament to the things that can be accomplished by the people of Thunder Bay and highlights the ingenuity of local businesses and creators in the city.
« We’re so far from a lot of major cities, but like, we can reach the world at this point. It’s really cool, like I do this all out of a spare room in my house. So it’s cool that anyone could potentially get something on the world stage just from their bedroom, » he added.
In a social media post Saturday, Heartbeat Hot Sauce congratulated both Poirier and Kosolowski on the ad, writing « Go Tbay » and « Go Heartbeat Team. »
The Superbowl ad wasn’t the first brush of international attention that the hot sauce business has experienced.
The brand has previously been featured on the YouTube series Hot Ones, and more recently has seen their Poirier collaboration become a topic of conversation within the UFC world.
During the UFC 257 weigh-in between Poirier and McGregor, Poirier handed his opponent a bottle of Heartbeat’s Louisiana style hot sauce. It was a gift McGregor graciously accepted.
« It’s just very, very cool to see something that I did seen by so many people and especially the Connor McGregor thing too…when he held the bottle out that was so mind blowing to see, because he just did that on his own, » Kosolowski said with a chuckle.
« Normally, with someone like him, you have to pay for a crazy product placement or something. But he just genuinely held up the bottle and now I have that photo forever. »
Up North5:41Heartbeat Hot Sauce at the Super Bowl