Disney Interactive employee’s comedic KSL ad goes viral

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Heather Dixon may work for Disney as a story artist and writer, but she most recently added comedian to her list of titles after a classifieds ad on KSL went viral.

Heather Dixon plays with Thanksgiving table decorations in 2015. (Heather Dixon)

The ad, which was for an almost-put-together TV stand, circulated on social media platforms after Dixon turned a disappointing situation into an opportunity to make people laugh.

“I kind of had a feeling that I wouldn’t be able to sell it, so I figured I would just make people laugh,” Dixon said.

Dixon originally purchased the TV stand from Overstock’s website. She realized that it was a lot smaller than she had initially expected.

According to Dixon, the image on Overstock lead her to believe that the stand was about three to five feet tall, but when she started putting it together she said it seemed like “doll-house furniture.” Additionally, the stand came with more than 20 textless instructions, resulting in a partially-assembled TV stand and a lesson to read the specs.

After frustrating attempts to put the TV stand together, she put the stand up for sale online. The advertisement she created included advanced dimensions — “24 inch tall by 52 inch wide by 16 inch deep, or large enough to hold about 1,300 barbie heads” — humorous commentary, and a call out to Overstock for what she called a “fail.”

She also provided some special offers. “I bought this for over $300 but in light of the political season I have some special pricing,” she wrote in the ad. “$250 for normal people. $250 if you’re voting for Trump…but I get to slap you. $250 if you’re voting for Hillary…but you have to slap yourself. $5,775 if you’re voting for Bernie Sanders, but I’ll take all the extra profit and distribute it to poor people who don’t have TV stands (I hear you guys love that kind of thing).”

Due to the humor of the ad, it quickly went viral, but she ended up marking it as sold a few days later since she had some unexpected results.

Dixon created this illustration in 2010 of Mary Poppins flying through the sky with her ‘practically perfect’ accessories. (Heather Dixon)

“When the ad went viral, I started getting a lot of people interested in it, plus a lot of weird phone calls, so I marked it as sold to kind of stem things,” she said.

As a Utah-native, Dixon was used to the caressing of parents and the comforting sense of home until she left to attend Brigham Young University. She described her transition as a shock that was “just as bad as being born” but worse, because her mother wasn’t there.

“I think that was the best thing I learned at BYU — to fail,” Dixon said. “To get up and try again, gather resources, study, re-draw that character, re-write that paper, re-board that scene. BYU helped me understand more fully that learning is the Atonement — we fall short, but we have a chance to try again, to redeem ourselves.”

Dixon’s 2015 illustration depicts Mary Poppins, a Disney character that Heather Dixon particularly likes. (Heather Dixon)

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Dixon values her faith — specifically the Atonement and how she can find humor in difficult situations. Dixon believes that humor is everywhere, which is why she tries to find it in everything.

“Henry Ward Beecher said: ‘A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It’s jolted by every pebble on the road.’ Life is full of so many twists and turns and big fat fails that when it’s not met with humor, it becomes harder and harder to pick ourselves up and try again,” Dixon said.

Dixon graduated from BYU from the animation program in 2007. She later joined Disney Interactive as an artist and story writer. She updates her blog and Instagram with some of her most recent creations.

“So, if I had any advice, it would be to keep your focus on improving and learning,” she said. “Grades are just grades, but getting in the habit of picking yourself up and trying again, of knowing that you forever have room for improvement — that will last a lifetime.”

The TV-stand is not yet sold, but Dixon expects someone to purchase it soon.

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