When local real estate agent Lynette Chapman learned that a starring role in a Spangles commercial would be auctioned off at a charity event she'd be attending, she joked with friends that she was going to bid and bid big.
It was just a joke — until the auction started.
"I had a glass of wine... or two, and I was like, 'I'm doing it,' " Chapman said with a laugh.
She set a limit for herself of $500 but found herself in competition with another bidder. Before she knew it, she'd won. Chapman owed Episcopal Social Services, the charity sponsoring the Oscar night fundraiser she was attending, $875.
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Once she wrote the check, the role was hers.
As any television-watching Wichitan knows, Spangles commercials are part of local pop culture legend.
They're often as cheesy as the burgers they're selling — populated with local actors and celebrities reciting (or singing) horrifyingly catchy slogans.
"$2.99 — are they out of their MINDS?"
The best of the bunch usually contain an appearance from smiling Spangles pitchwoman Rene Steven.
"Spangles — it just tastes better."
How, Chapman wondered, could she possibly put a price on an opportunity to take part in Wichita history?
A few days after the big auction, Chapman contacted digitalBRAND Communication, the prolific local company that's produced Spangles commercials for nearly a decade.
She was instructed to come to the studio to audition and make sure she was capable of speaking clearly on camera. (She was. Chapman majored in broadcast journalism in college.)
The two-day shoot last month was nerve-racking all the same, Chapman said. Steven attended the shoot in person, making sure Chapman was comfortable and rearranging fries until they looked just right.
The finished commercial, which is for the double gourmet supreme cheeseburger, started airing in regular rotation on Monday and can be viewed at spanglesinc.com/ads.php. Chapman's the only person in the ad, and she's on screen for about three seconds.
She had to be trained in the proper way to hold her burger, and she estimates that she recited her one line —"Too big? I don't think so" — at least 40 times. (Her friends, though impressed with her advertising abilities, have been giving her grief for the double entendre nature of her line.)
The shoot was fun, she said, and although she's not caught it on television yet, friends have been giving her positive feedback.
As for that double gourmet supreme? Chapman might truly have a future in acting.
"It is too big," she said with a laugh. "I'm so sorry to say it."