Debora Tsakoumakis is on a tight budget, so when she advertises her Huntington Beach-based cake delivery service, Wire-A-Cake, she relies on Facebook, Twitter and word of mouth.
But now Tsakoumakis is in the running for an advertising windfall.
She is one of 20 semi-finalists competing to win 30 seconds of commercial air time during the 2014 Super Bowl.
The contest — put on by Intuit, the company behind the accounting software QuickBooks — garnered more than 15,000 entries.
News reports say 30-second spots during last year's Super Bowl cost as much as $4 million, and the game averaged more than 108 million viewers.
Tsakoumakis said the "whole process was a long shot," but she figured, "What the heck? Go big or go home."
The Huntington Beach resident entered the contest in August after hearing about it from a Facebook fan. She submitted a Tyler Perry-inspired video advertising Wire-A-Cake in which she plays all the characters.
Now Tsakoumakis is anxiously waiting for Nov. 11, when she will find out if her entry made it through to the final round. Intuit employees are voting on the 20 semi-finalists to narrow the field to four finalists, at which point the selection will be open to public votes.
Tsakoumakis started in the cake delivery business nearly 30 years ago when she wanted to send her father a cake across the country for his birthday.
After operating a different cake delivery service, she came to Huntington Beach and founded Wire-A-Cake. It ships cakes across the United States and to military addresses abroad.
Wire-A-Cake offers chocolate, vanilla and marble options covered in buttercream frosting, and customers can customize the design on the cake. Tsakoumakis said she uses special packaging and coats the cakes in fondant, enabling them to safely ship overseas.
Her video entry can be seen — and cakes ordered — at http://www.wireacake.com.