Nothing quite compares to a good home-cooked meal. We mean the kind of comfort food that brings back good memories and makes you feel like you’re with family. Cotton Patch Cafe brings that experience, with fresh food and a modern take on Texas scratch cooking. So when Dallas-based agency Plein Air came to us to help launch Cotton Patch Cafe’s identity and brand update, we were all in. The new brand launch includes a series of four broadcast t.v. spots, directed by Revelator’s Matt Muir.
Matt’s approach in conceptualizing this television commercial campaign was to focus on the fresh ingredients that crafted menu items like the Nacogdoches Burger and Dr. Pepper Sirloin. Nailing down the tone was important. Director Matt Muir’s aim was for an unpretentious, approachable and naturalistic look at the food. We wanted to invite Cotton Patch Cafe’s customers into the kitchen and entice them into a fun, energetic, passionate dash towards the delivery of that delicious plate of food. Instead of a slick, glossy, and canned video approach to food, we wanted our production to highlight the natural details of each dish, from the drips of gravy, to the crackling bacon on the griddle, and sizzling cheese on the burgers. Hungry yet?
For the look of the t.v. campaign, we opted for naturalistic soft-key lighting and realistic light fall-off. It’s a visual approach that adds depth and freshness to the look of tabletop food. The aim was soft light diffusion to highlight each carefully chosen ingredient. We brought these natural food visuals to life by shooting on long prime lenses, with a fairly shallow depth of field. This way we focus on the details in the video production. We capture the freshness of the food, ingredients, and the natural wood grain tones of the table tops and cutting boards. Keeping things natural and realistic, we kept the colors true-to-life, highlighting the true texture of each ingredient.
We wanted to hit home the idea of the ad campaign, “Made Texas True.” The included using multiple senses, and if we can’t use taste, we’ll use sound. Our sound design, crafted by Pony Sound, includes those subtle sounds of the kitchen prep, like the sizzling meat on the grill, dashes of ingredients, and those always zesty and crisp chops of the knives. The goal was always to keep the edit-pace lively, so the sound effects and brisk music play a key role across all four spots helped keep things peppy and fun.
Another authentic Texas ingredient to the overall sound was the voiceover talents of Dallas native, Glenn Morshower, known for his appearances on 24 and in the Transformers films. (That’s General Morshower to you, grunts!) This ol’ production company jumped at the chance to have Glenn’s authentic and recognizable Texas twang helped brings these spots together, and working with the consummate pro was, of course, a treat!
Keeping the spots energetic, fun, and authentic helped bring Cotton Patch Cafe’s refreshed brand to life. We wanted to highlight the fresh, delicious scratch-made food that makes Cotton Patch so special. And with a great ad agency like Plein Air as our partner, and a fantastic collection of food stylists, chefs, and film crew, we maybe we made ourselves hungry in the process. Worth it!