Many Americans looked forward to Budweiser’s Christmas commercials featuring the iconic Clydesdales, at least until the beer manufacturer put the kibosh on them in 2014, replacing the horses with a “hipper vibe” targeting twentysomethings.
So, the last couple of Decembers have offered one less Christmastime story wrapped in warmth and meaning, family and love. However, this left an opening for Pnuma, an up-and-coming hunting apparel company, to fill in the gap.
What Pnuma understood was that twentysomethings — as countless national news groups have reported (check here and here) — value symbols of the past just as many Americans do, regardless of age. They tend to be drawn to simple self-reliance, lifestyles laced with tradition and labor that’s manual, not automated — just like the work of the Clydesdales and just like the work of the hunters who wear the Pnuma brand.
“We came up with this story 16 months ago and, in the meantime, I was introduced to Jeff Jensen of Reflections Media Group,” said David Strandberg, Vice President for Pnuma. “I told Jeff the idea for what we were calling our ‘Christmas Card.’ When I asked if he and his team were interested in helping bring the story to life, Jeff’s response was a very enthusiastic ‘yes.’”
Strandberg emphasized the value of collaboration in a way that’s earnest and real.
“Jeff, Jeff Twede and the entire team at Reflections worked tirelessly to create the film. And we truly appreciate the partnership with Tract Optics.”
Pnuma’s holiday film captures the stillness of a small town before sunrise, its modest Christmas lights dim and subtle. A few frames into the story, there’s the darkness of the woods and the solitude of a man walking to his hunting spot. There’s a vast, snowy landscape and, finally, the story ends with a decision made by the tender heart of a conflicted new father.
“During my many talks with Jeff [Jensen], the most important takeaway for me was that he truly related to the story. He’s lived it,” said Strandberg. “So, I had every confidence in Jeff and his team. I knew they’d create a film for Pnuma that would touch the hearts of all those who watch it.”
The film is paced well, allowing it to put the viewer in the early-morning moment cherished by hunters.
“The film takes its time, capturing the stillness of the morning and all the relatable details that are part of an early-morning wake-up call and getting to the woods before it wakes up. It’s a quiet race to sunrise,” said Strandberg.
The film reminds its viewers hunting often attracts a reflective man, fitting for a reflective time of year. When you consider the moments a hunter spends in the woods, alone, with only his thoughts, reflection is often all there is.
The hunter has one job: to fall in with the rhythm of the woods — its movements, its smells, its colors. It’s a time when the noise of the world slips away and the moment teaches. Ultimately, in that moment, most hunters find themselves wanting to share it with the ones they love.
And, in Pnuma’s holiday film, that’s what the hunter did.