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Friday, Jun 22, 2018
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University building in TV pickup ad

LAKELAND — You might have noticed something familiar in a new pickup ad now in rotation on television.

That’s the Innovation, Science and Technology building under construction at Florida Polytechnic University in the background of a Dodge Ram 3500 truck spot.

A Dodge spokeswoman said producers scouted “innovative and inspiring” large-scale construction locations from coast to coast and found what it wanted in Lakeland. The building “aligns with what the Ram truck brand stands for — modern, high-tech and progressive,” said Eileen Wunderlich of Dodge.

Poly’s signature structure is going up along Interstate 4 and the eastern Polk Parkway, with the university’s first students arriving in August. The $110 million building was designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

With 160,000 square feet, it houses classrooms, auditoriums, labs, meeting rooms and offices for faculty and administration.

There’s no mention of the university in the 30-second spot, so most viewers nationwide probably aren’t aware of what they’re looking at as pickups busily move material around the futuristic site. An announcer touts the truck specs and says, “It takes a modern marvel to make one.”

Dealers nationwide are using the ad for their “Truck Month” campaign in February and March, and it will come out again during the commercial truck season campaign April through June.

Poly picked up $15,000 a day for three days of shooting in late December, university spokeswoman Crystal Lauderdale said. There were no construction disruptions.

“We were honored to be involved in this project, and we’re proud that our IST building is catching eyes and inspiring people,” said Ava Parker, Florida Poly’s chief operating officer, in a statement. “It was designed, after all, to inspire innovation.”

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