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Lowrance Brand Story

In 2013, Lowrance asked us to produce a brand video for them. There were a lot of caveats: It needed to speak to Lowrance’s worldwide presence, the budget was very tight, and the top brass of the parent company (Navico) were watching closely as they needed a way to get the Lowrance story told in an effective, powerful way.

With the budget being so tight, we limited the live-action video to three interviews (and some stock) that our very small crew could capture in a short road trip to Florida. We started with bass pro Mike Iaconelli in Kissimmee, where he was for a tournament, then swung down to Islamorada to catch TV host and guide Rich Tudor, then back up to Titusville, where we interviewed the company’s founder, Darrell Lowrance.

It was especially rewarding to interview Lowrance. As we talked, it became evident that his interest in promoting his product, the electronic fishfinder, was to promote people fishing together. Going out on a fishing trip with your dad or friends is one of the best ways to reinforce relationships and create long-lasting memories—especially if you catch fish. We talked through several ending lines before settling on the right one. He looked straight into the camera, with his friendly eyes and said with all sincerity: “Technology makes fishing better, thanks to Lowrance. And traditions will continue, thanks to you and me.”

Post-production was equally gratifying. Still photos from photographers around the world were combined with ours, then creatively rotoscoped at Crawford Post, who also created the striking and beautiful sound design, as well as the voiceover. Quotes from Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea were added (ask me about the licensing on that!). In the end, it was a terrific and satisfying production from every perspective.

On our next trip to Navico headquarters in Tulsa, everyone told us how much they liked it. But the real validation came when Leif Ottosson, the CEO, sought me out to tell me what a great video it was. Darrel Lowrance, who passed away in 2019, talked about how fishing creates long-lasting memories; creating this video made many for me as well.

Exmark Brand Series

Here’s the long-form brand story video we did in 2016 for Exmark. The entire project included not just this video, but four other USP (unique selling proposition) videos, focusing on attributes such as comfort, durability, innovation and service. Exmark was eager to tell their story to a larger market (beyond commercial operators) and were building new models at more-attractive price points.

For each of the videos we produced a long-form and 30-second spot (and more recently have been updated with 15- and 6-second social media versions). We also created taggable 30s for dealers to use in local ad campaigns. The campaign was rolled out digitally, and the response really opened our eyes. We expected great things, and we were not disappointed.

My favorite thing about this production was seeing the emotional reactions from Exmark employees—we heard from everyone from boardroom execs to the rank-and-file, expressing how powerful the videos were, telling their stories in a way that was authentic, respectful and beautiful.

Making Mowers Sexy

Actually, this post is about making commercial-grade zero-turn lawnmowers’ tires sexy. Exmark had spent years developing a tubeless tire system and continued their work while competitors and aftermarket brands were releasing theirs. As the market leader, and with a reputation for durable, innovative products, they waited until the Tractus tubeless tires were good enough for the Exmark name.

Thus, our challenge was to create a package of video-based deliverables, for distribution on all of Exmark’s platforms: Their own website, their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds, their dealers’ own marketing programs and the feeds of their influencers. And it all needed to be done as quickly as possible. Two shoots (one in Florida) and all the post-production later, we delivered a long-form video (see above), two 30-second spots, and multiple 15- and 6-second iterations for social media posts. The first video was completed and delivered within 30 days.

Jewelry For Men

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Adventure Advertising came into being in large part when we landed Shimano’s Fishing Division as our client, in 2004. They weren’t happy with the big-city agencies, who knew very little about fishing, and they knew that we had an outdoor pedigree thanks to Hooked on the Outdoors Magazine, which we created and published.

The question was, what we would do differently with their creative? Shimano reels are beautiful, sculpted pieces, yet no one had highlighted this seemingly obvious trait. Their reputation for quality was well-known, so how do you ignite a visceral, “I gotta have one” feeling in your customer?

And so our relationship with Shimano was born, with the “Jewelry For Men” approach in their ads and catalogs. The reels (and rods too) were featured in dramatically lit settings, as if displayed on black felt in a jewelry store.

Eventually the competition began mirroring our look, and we pivoted to a new, yet analogous tactic. While maintaining the focus on the visceral qualities of fishing (while using Shimano products), we shifted to images and headlines emphasizing the experience, and the technical advantages of the product