American cheese isn't just about getting your own. It's about helping someone else get theirs, too. That, at least, is the upshot of a sentimental new ad from iconic dairy company Land O'Lakes, created by The Martin Agency.
A young man waits at a deli counter for his ticket to be called. A nursery-rhyme voiceover waxes philosophical about the passage of time, and the passing along of rituals. The young hero reminisces about how he's buying groceries just the way his mom used to do.
When his number finally comes up, he makes a modern gesture of consumer chivalry.
Featuring the tagline "Add a little good," the commercial is part of a broader campaign—Martin's first for the brand—that includes print and digital work, along with two other 30-second TV spots focusing on the marketer's most famous product: butter.
In one, a little girl helps her mom cook, chopping onions with a plastic knife, washing carrots and ensuring the pepper shaker is handy. Like the first ad, the rhyming voiceover muses on the importance of showing the next generation the way. In the end, it turns out the meal they've been making isn't for themselves.
In the last one, three Land O'Lakes farmers rise at 5 a.m. to tend their cows. The voiceover celebrates the company's model—it's a cooperative owned by more than 4,000 producers and members—before arriving at that old American saw about doing things right even when it's hard, as the farmers sit down for butter-drenched breakfasts with their families.
Overall, it's a sweet approach, even if it flirts with being saccharine. It's beautifully produced, with inviting visuals and soundtracks sure to tug on plenty of heartstrings, even if the sing-song copy risks driving viewers insane upon repeat exposure.
It also doesn't hurt that butter pretty much sells itself. But the tagline is particularly apt, too—as good as butter is, it's probably not a good idea to eat too much.
Print work and credits below.
Client: Land O'Lakes
VP Marketing, US Dairy Foods: Heather Anfang
Director, Integrated Marketing Communications: Leah Lamon
Marketing Director, Consumer Cheese: Martin Abrams
Director, Test Kitchens & Consumer Affairs: Becky Wahlund
Team Leader, National Retail Operations: Bob D'Imperio
Director Member Relations: Pete Garbani
Director, Superspreads: Stacey Kearin
Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC), Superspreads and INBD: Melissa Alphin
Agency: The Martin Agency
Chief Creative Officer: Joe Alexander
Executive Creative Director: Andy Azula
Creative Director: Jordi Martinez
Senior Art Director: Tara Gorman
Senior Copywriter: Lassiter Stone
Managing Director – Production & Development: Steve Humble
Executive Producer: Letitia Jacobs
Senior Producer: Adrienne Daniel
Associate Broadcast Producer: Coleman Sweeney
Business Affairs Supervisor: Alice Isner
Director of Production Business Management: Karen Taylor
Senior Project Manager: Courtney Faudree Hurd
Group Account Director: Walker Teele
Account Director: Carey Ely
Account Supervisor: Chloe Bos
Account Executive: Sarah Smith
Account Coordinator: Alexis Nelson
Production Company: Thomas Thomas Films
Director: Kevin Thomas
Executive Producer: Philippa Thomas
Producer: Jon Dino
Director of Photography: Robert Pendar-Hughes
Food Stylist: Debi Halpert
Editorial Company: White House Post
Editor: Heidi Black
Assistant Editor: Sam Perkins
Executive Producer: Joni Williamson
Head of Production: Joanna Manning
Producer: Jonlyn Williams
Animation/VFX: Go Overboard
VFX Supervisor/Lead Flame Artist: Jan Cilliers
Flame Assist: Sarah Vigil
Flame Artists: Brandon Sanders, Jim Bohn, Michael Angelo
Matte Painter: Dark Hoffman
Producer: Krystle Seiden
Executive Producer: Celest Gilbert
Colorist: Matthew Schwab
Music for "Next" & "Soup Kitchen": Human
Composers: Craig DeLeon ("Next")
Thomas Keery ("Soup Kitchen")
Music for "Co-Op": Asche & Spencer
Audio Post Company: Rainmaker Studios
Sr. Sound Designer, Music Composer, Technical Supervisor: Jeff McManus
Executive Producer, Owner: Kristin O'Connor
General Manager / Scheduler: Clinton Spell II