Yet Another Great #CCU Holiday Video

To watch the 2017 #CCU Holiday Video, click here

A true test of talent can be found in versatility. Sure, we are all good at certain techniques and areas within our respective jobs. However, are we gifted enough to produce positive results when we decide to switch gears?

I pose this question to celebrate the success of the 2017 #CCU Holiday Video.

Today at noon, we released our latest annual installment of digital cheer. This year’s holiday video came after a string of successful predecessors, culminating in our 2016 hit that took our campus by storm and smashed view records.

The 2016 #CCU Holiday Video was a massive hit and left a lot to live up to this year.

The task to follow up last year’s viral sensation fell on the shoulders of the duo who created the monster in the first place. Our senior marketing director, Lindsi Glass, and our production manager, Geoff Insch, teamed up again to produce the 2017 version.

What would these two content creator geniuses come up with this time? Having built a successful reputation for creating catchy and creative videos that go outside the norm and push the envelope, did they have another idea up their sleeves that would once again include an original song, a well-known pop culture theme, and over 200 extras?

It is to relief of many that I only appear in the 2017 #CCU Holiday Video once. My cameo comes at the very end when I hold up the letter “H” in the word “Holidays.”

Not this year.

Instead of piggy-backing off of 2016, they pulled a 180. Rather than go for the funny bone, they went for the heart. To say the least, it worked.

This year’s video stars an 6-year-old girl named Lilly. A real life member of the emerging population of young people growing up with teal blood already circulating through their veins, Lilly writes a holiday letter to President DeCenzo. As he starts to read it, a voiceover by Lilly clues in the audience about what was written. Penning the letter in a very eloquent manner for someone just 6 years of age (with perhaps a little bit of help), she expresses what makes Coastal Carolina so special while exclaiming “there’s just so much to be proud of.”

The video centers on Lilly, a natural star.

During the voiceover, our beautiful campus is showcased and some of the people who make it such a great place are featured. But between the beauty shots of #TEALnation and the images of President DeCenzo and Mrs. DeCenzo gushing over the note, there is a heartwarming dynamic that plays out between Lilly and the person who sticks close to her side throughout the video.

Caroline Smith is our university editor and Lilly’s mom. She was nice enough to stand in for a crucial supporting role in the production. The mother-daughter relationship is hinted at throughout the entire video but it isn’t fully revealed until the very end. When the connection is finally disclosed, it is done in the sweetest way; a way in which has made our #CCU community tear up all day long, a way in which makes it mandatory that you watch it, a way in which will truly make you appreciate what Lindsi and Geoff accomplished.

Lilly and Caroline work together to provide a classic and touching performance.

It was no simple task following up last year’s video, especially with a completely different concept. But our University Communication staff pulled it off and once again made our entire CCU community proud. To Lindsi, Geoff, Caroline and, last but not least, Lilly – great work! Don’t Blink.

Worth It? The Largest Deliverable Pizza in the World

I am a sucker for food dishes on steroids. In America, we have a thing for taking culinary favorites and blowing them up to sizes that could feed a small army. Except for those who practice portion control and self discipline, who doesn’t love seeing a 10 pound burrito, a 10 patty hamburger, or a 10 scoop ice cream sundae?

I enjoy outrageously sized food items.

This is me with The Big Dog at Northern Quest Casino in Spokane during the summer of 2012.

I didn’t order this hot dog just for the heck of it. However, despite my fandom for big eats, I still look at value. Something that I recently saw on social media made me delve into deep thought.

My co-worker and friend Geoff Insch recently shared a video from a popular Facebook food page. The piece of content he shared showcased the largest deliverable pizza in the world, a 54″ by 54″ pie called “The Giant Sicilian.”

This is The Great Sicilian, a giant 54″ by 54″ pizza.

Now you must watch the video (click here) to really gain an appreciation for how mammoth this thing is. It takes multiple people to make it AND it takes multiple people to deliver it. The enormous size of the pizza was really put into perspective for me when I saw the box it is placed in.

The box it is carried out in is enormous!

Do you live in LA and want to order it? The Giant Sicilian can be cut into 200 medium-sized square slices and feed 50-70 people. The price tag? It starts at $249.99.

Before I criticize the product’s price based on volume of pizza, let me say this: I understand that Big Mama’s and Papa’s Pizzeria isn’t just selling 200 slices of pizza. Rather, the restaurant is selling a gimmick…oops…I mean experience.

When Geoff shared the video, he wrote “I know what I’m doing for my birthday party next year!” You see, this pizza isn’t just meant to fill stomachs. Rather, it is meant to draw laughs at family reunions, birthday celebrations, and overnighters. The surreal sight of seeing a giant pizza box taking up an entire room is memorable and outrageous, two things that can add character to any event. You could set up a hidden camera and make a video out of the reactions people will have when they walk in the room and see a pizza that has roughly 5,000 pieces (total guess on my part) of pepperoni on it. They will freak and it will be funny. I get it.

The pizza turns into the main attraction at your party.

So make no mistake about it, the “wow factor” of the Giant Sicilian is part of what you are paying for.

How do I know?

Well, you can easily purchase a greater volume of pizza from any of the major mainstream pizza chains.

If I lived in Los Angeles and had to feed 50-70 people, I wouldn’t dial up Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria. First off, I wouldn’t want the logistical nightmare of hungry humans circling around the giant box stabbing at square slices. Secondly, I would want to get the most value for my money.

So, depending on my mood, I would do one of the following…

1. I would buy 25 large $10 carryout pizzas from Pizza Hut. Not only would the total amount of slices be the exact same as the Great Sicilian (25 pizzas x 8 slices per pie = 200 slices) but the price ($250) would be identical as well. However, not only would the Pizza Hut individual slices be bigger than the Sicilian square slices, but the variety available would be much more diverse.

2. If I wanted to go under budget, I would dial up Papa John’s. The chain is famous for its $8 large 1-topping pizza with the promo code TXT8. I would buy 28 pizzas (26 pizzas x $8 = $208) and give the the hardworking delivery person a $15 tip and use the remaining $27 to buy soft drinks for everyone. The best part about this plan is that even with the tip and soft drinks, we would still have more pizza than if we opted for the Great Sicilian.

3. The final option would only occur if I was in a bad mood. I would go to Little Caesers and buy 40 of the $5 Hot-N-Ready pepperoni pizzas. Then, because of my despicable choice, I would take the $50 remaining and give it to charity to atone for my sin.

Taking The Great Sicilian to the oven!


Again, I completely understand that the Great Sicilian is not 100% about the actual value. However, it is fun to every now and then explore what exactly we are paying for and what is most important to us as consumers. Don’t Blink.