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Authentic Cows + Authentic Farmers = Authentic Advertising | Charlotte Gabbitas

by Sarah McManus - June, 2016

There’s nothing staged, nothing fake, nothing fabricated about our new campaign for Seriously Strong. It’s an honest and simple salute to the makers of proper cheese from proper farmers, in whom we can all trust. Producer Charlotte Gabbitas explains.

The weather almost flummoxed us in our quest for an advert which was the genuine article. I mean how often do you really see such constant blue skies on a May day in Scotland?

When we received the initial brief from Seriously Strong Cheddar and began researching the best creative route to take, Rory Christie was the first farmer we talked to.

During a recce in Stranraer where the cheddar is produced, Rory spoke to us with such eloquence and passionate about dairy farming, and clearly cared so much about the welfare of his cows, that it struck us how much he, and his herd, were at the crux of the brand’s narrative.

The little stroke of genius in Seriously Strong Cheddar’s Made in Scotland campaign is the cameo it offers Rory as narrator, expert and all round farming hero.

After speaking to others like him, it became apparent that the story was not necessarily the family-based history of cheese making, but what made, and still makes, South West Scotland such an ideal place for dairy farming and making delicious cheese for hundreds of years.

This is not only because of the generally mild climate, and nutrient packed grass that the cows graze on to produce such produce high quality milk, but also because of the people who give the area and the cheese its unique character.

The dairy farmers who have passed down their knowledge from generation to generation, and the expertise of the cheese graders who assess each batch to make sure it’s the quality product that cheese lovers expect.

As the landscape plays such an integral role in why cheese has been produced in the area for so many years, we knew that we needed to place it centre stage in this film.

We decided to use a drone to properly capture the large areas of beautiful landscape around the Stranraer region, which was a first for Media Bounty and definitely something we are keen to repeat.

We had a few concerns about the weather and how the cows would react to an unidentified flying object, but we were actually incredibly lucky to shoot on a beautifully sunny day. So sunny in fact, that we were concerned the farm wouldn’t look “Scottish” enough!

The only time the cows got a bit suspicious of the drone was when we wanted to film a lovely shot of them returning to the field after being milked, and they decided they weren’t quite ready for their close up.

During the stand-off, I tried to convince the cows to move by having a short production meeting with them. Surprisingly they were still not keen, but luckily Rory came to my rescue whilst telling me how rubbish I am at herding cows!

Best not give up my day job!

Check it out: