February 14 2014
Sometimes commercials are actually pretty cool. This week a couple of Wisconsin artists released some well shot and subtle marketing videos. Justin Vernon of Bon Iver muses on his relative small town roots in an ad for shoes and Foreign Fields plays a stripped down session lit by artisan light bulbs. While by default commercials are kind of lame and cheesy these companies are aligning themselves with artists and allowing them to breathe and express themselves. If advertisement can have a bit of character and support some great Wisconsin artists along the way I am all for it.
Small Batch Presents brings together musicians and craftspeople to promote a supportive community of the arts in a broad sense. This session is a pairing of Foreign Fields with artisan light designers, Southern Lights Electric. The Nashville via Wisconsin band showcases their atmospheric folk with some well-crafted lighting fixtures to illuminate the set. Don’t miss the second video with a fantastic rendition of the song Fake Arms.
Justin Vernon shares insight on why he has stayed in Eau Claire, his home town, and gives us a look inside his custom built recording studio. We also get to see him pretend to fix his truck and build a fire, just typical northern Wisconsin stuff. The great part is you can hardly tell you are watching an ad, Red Wings Shoes rarely show their product in this video. On top of that Red Wing is a Minnesota based company, which actually makes me pretty proud to be a Midwesterner. It is comforting to see even commercials from around here are just nice and positive. These collaborative advertisements are able to create something meaningful while showcasing the arts and making their respective companies look really smart and “with it” in the process. Wouldn't it be great if we lived in an alternate universe where these were the giant Super Bowl ads?