Northern Illinois University

Northern Today

Chipotle will make special delivery
to NIU students who won ad contest

December 3, 2007

by Tom Parisi

Four NIU students in the Department of Communication will have some extra spending money this holiday season.

Chipotle team

Representatives of Chipotle Mexican Grill will visit the chain’s DeKalb restaurant at 1013 West Lincoln Highway at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, to award the students with the grand prize in its national video advertising contest, “30 Seconds of Fame.”

Seniors Chris Darkes, Brittany Samson, Sara Honchar and Joe Giorgi created the prize-winning entry, titled “Just the Fax,” which tied for first place in the contest. The four NIU students will share $7,500, with an equal amount going to a student team from Chapman University.

Each team’s university will receive $7,500 in additional prize money.

Chipotle judges cited creativity, consistency with brand and production value in awarding first place to “Just the Fax,” which tells the story of a famished officer worker (played by Darkes) whose burrito order arrives in a rather unconventional way.

The video will be played during the award presentation and also can be viewed at

All four of the students have taken advanced courses in media production with Communication Professor Laura Vazquez, who also advises the NIU Student Film and Video Association.

“Not only has this been a productive learning experience for my students but they’ve also bonded together as a creative team and as friends,” she said. “I’ve been very pleased to see the way they’ve all grown through the process.”