Horses on TV
By Leslie Potter
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
A cowboy using a Blackberry to conduct business from horseback. It sounds like a lead in to the kind of joke you'd hear on A Prairie Home Companion. It turns out it might actually be a stroke of marketing genius.
Our friend Jonathan Field, a trainer and horsemanship clinician based in British Columbia, is featured in a new ad for Blackberry. The ad is quite a visual treat, and has a voiceover in which Jonathan explains the process of working with horses before continuing on to explain how his Blackberry is a valuable tool for what he does.
It's quite a departure from the usual commercials for smartphones and similar gadgets. Typically they're featured in an urban business or social setting (or in some fictional land populated by colorful little creatures.) Horse people aren't exactly known for being early adopters of new technology, so a cowboy isn't an obvious choice as a spokesperson. However, I think that makes this ad more compelling. After all, if a horse trainer can find a use for a Blackberry on his ranch, surely it will help YOU in your day-to-day life.
Moreover, it's always exciting to see horses and riders featured in mainstream media. Sure, once a year we might get a new Budweiser Clydesdale ad, and thanks to the Internet we can watch some of the amusing equestrian-themed ads from across the pond, but this one features a real horseman working with real horses. The 75-second spot gives just enough info to show the average non-horseperson that there is much more to horsemanship than just sitting in the saddle and hanging on. In that respect, it seems almost as much a commercial for equestrianism as anything else.
What do you think of the ad? Even if it doesn't compel you to run out and buy a Blackberry, would you be happy to see it during prime time TV?
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