Alum Abshire Directs E-Trade Baby
You really never know where you will find a WIU alum. You wouldn’t have found Tim Abshire, BA Broadcasting, 1992 at the Super Bowl but you would have seen his work if you were tuned in.
From University Relations:
MACOMB, IL — With all the cameras at Super Bowl XLVI focused on quarterbacks Eli Manning and Tom Brady, Western Illinois University might have missed the show put on by one of its own.
A WIU graduate stole the attention of more than 100 million viewers for 30 seconds of the broadcast, and while he may not have been sporting shoulder pads, a helmet or those shiny pants, his brief time in the spotlight was some of the game’s most loved and remembered … the E*Trade Baby commercial directed by WIU alumnus Tim Abshire.
Abshire’s spot featured the iconic pint-sized financial wizard dishing out his usual mixture of investing wisdom and offhanded humor to a nervous new father, all while incredulously watching another of his infant friends “speed-dating” on the other side of the glass in a hospital nursery.
He recently “met” with Western broadcasting students via FaceTime, where he fielded students’ questions about his E*TRADE commercial, the advertising industry, and career advice in general, which comes after more than 10 years directing spots for some of the biggest players in the business, including Google, Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, Gamefly (remember the ad with people screaming at their TVs?), and of course, E*Trade. And yet, in spite of the pressure of being in charge of such high-value projects and clients, Abshire said he is having the time of his life.
“I get to do something new every day,” he said. “It’s an absolute blast of a way to make a living.”
Abshire attended WIU in the formative stages of the broadcasting department, when the TV studio was first built. “It was a pretty interesting time,” Abshire recalled. “Everybody was kind of figuring the studio out and learning it together. We did a whole lot of experimenting.”
And experiment he did, creating and directing game shows outside of schoolwork where contestants comprised of sororities and fraternities battled it out playing classic games like Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit and Twister. His career’s meteoric ascent began after one of his experimental videos won him an internship with MTV On Air Promos after graduation. He started as a intern, then worked his way up revising spots and finally, got the opportunity to direct commercials for MTV’s Video Music Awards, the Video Music Awards and everything in-between.
And to view more of Tim’s work, check out his website.