Student wins 'Apprentice' tuna challenge

Benjamin Hernandez, a San Jose, Calif., advertising student was named the grand prize winner of Chicken of the Sea's Apprentice Challenge, a marketing contest that accompanied the tuna canner's sponsorship of the hit NBC show, "The Apprentice."

Hernandez developed a 90-second viral video that shows his character, Tommy Tuna, a.k.a. "Mr. Chicken of the Sea," interacting with people at supermarkets, work, school and on the streets to offer facts about the seafood company's products and "share his excitement of the Chicken of the Sea brand."

"Benjamin's entry immediately caught our eye. It was creative, funny and 'out of the box'," said John Sawyer, senior VP of sales and marketing for Chicken of the Sea. "Most importantly, it creatively communicated our key attributes, including health, nutrition, convenience and the importance of eating seafood twice a week."

The quirky Hernandez, who sports unique black-rimmed glasses, will fly to New York for the 10 May live season finale of ‘The Celebrity Apprentice,' starring real estate mogul Donald Trump.

"I'm happy, geeked, pumped ... fantastic, incredible," said Hernandez, a California native who has not traveled much beyond the state.

The contest, an extension of the 3 May episode that featured the seafood company and its products, asked consumers to complete one of three marketing tasks: outline a new product concept; design a billboard that promotes Chicken of the Sea's Healthy Selections or its pink salmon, albacore and light tuna cups; or outline a viral campaign that could be successfully carried out on a social network.

To see Hernandez' entry, along with clips from the 3 May episode of "The Celebrity Apprentice," visit or


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