Tommy Lee Jones Narrates Rustic Short Film for Texas Cattle Ranchers GroupWed, 11 Aug 2021 09:52:40 CDT
There are no American flags visible in this short film for a professional cattle rancher’s group, but the video is figuratively draped in red, white and blue, from its montage of cowboys on horseback, to the rural Texas scenery to its dramatic narration by Tommy Lee Jones.
The campaign, dubbed “We Live For This Land,” was designed as a recruiting tool for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA), a 144-year-old organization based in the country’s top cattle-producing state. It premiered recently at a rancher’s convention in Fort Worth, Texas and will also be distributed in 30-second cuts on digital and social media platforms.
Guided by the distinctive, gravelly voice of Oscar-winning actor Jones, a rancher himself, the 2-minute hero video intends to speak to “the men and women who make this rough country work” and celebrate their “grit and determination.”
“We live for this land,” Jones says in the spot, set against panoramic desert views and red-gold sunsets. “We are its voice, a defender of our cause, a protector of our way of life, a keeper of the common good, guardians of freedom, independence and possibility. We are the stewards of ideals as old and true as the earth upon which we stand.”
The work comes from The Richards Group, which produced the film in-house after a pandemic-related delay, shooting late this spring for eight days at seven different locations. It’s the first campaign for the cattle ranching client, which joined the agency’s roster in 2019.
The campaign includes a brand revamp, complete with a new logo, website and visual identity. An upcoming app from the shop’s digital team will help fight cattle rustling (or cattle theft), which is still a problem in 2021.
Rebuilding after scandal
The project comes as the indie agency rebuilds its senior leadership and overhauls its internal culture following a 2020 scandal that spurred the departure of its founder Stan Richards and the exodus of high-profile brands like Motel 6, Home Depot and the Salvation Army.
Also part of the backdrop: there’s been a double-digit spike in some meat prices, causing consumers to rethink their grocery lists, while shoppers’ demand for plant-based protein and meat alternatives continues to surge.
Beef is still the top-selling meat in the U.S., with sales in 2020 increasing to $30.3 billion, a 23.7% bump year-over-year, according to 210 Analytics. Between January and September 2020, the number of American consumers who reported eating meat jumped to 72%, up from 67% in 2019, per the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
At the same time, 35% of Americans are “making a conscious effort to eat less meat,” per a survey by Morning Consult for Bloomberg News, with that number edging higher for non-whites and Black consumers, topping 40% for Latinos.
While not intended to be a consumer-facing message, “We Live For This Land” aims to enlist new members for the TSCRA and boost renewal rates of its 17,000-member headcount.
To prep for the campaign, creatives at The Richards Group did a 3-week deep dive, described as “ethnographic research,” covering 11 cattle operations and 3,000 miles. The goal was to capture “an industry rich in heritage and tradition,” according to agency principal James Hering, for an association that’s “fiercely committed to ensuring that the economic and cultural backbone of the rural southwest, the cattle raiser, thrives.”
Story Courtesy of T.L. Stanley, adweek..
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