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Apr. 12—How a national advertisement for the Ford Bronco Sport was made entirely in Chattanooga late last year and is now being shown on Bang-Olufsen.com, Ford.com, dealer training sites and social media channels is a lesson in building relationships over time, timing, luck and not being afraid to be "a little greedy."
Locally based Pathfinder Films was responsible for filming the ad and in addition to all the scenes being shot here, local rapper, saxophonist, producer and creator Jerod Swayyvo Morton provided the song, "Zone," and musician/producer Carl Cadwell with Summer Dregs studio engineered the voiceover track.
The official name of the piece is "Sounds of Adventure." It was written by Jordan Wollman from Miles Partnership and directed by Leif Ramsey from Pathfinder Films.
Making sure Chattanooga was "featured prominently and in the best light" were representatives of the Chattanooga Tourism Co., which paid between $20,000 and $25,000 to have a larger say in how the ad was produced by Florida-based Miles Partnership, according to Sean Phipps, Chattanooga Tourism Co. marketing director.
"They were going to shoot the ad in Chattanooga and we wanted to be involved because it seemed like a good opportunity to highlight the city," he said in a telephone interview.
Miles Partnership worked with Harman International Industries to create the commercial featuring Chattanooga and the Ford Bronco Sport for the Bang & Olufsen Sound System. It will also be utilized during training events, marketing events and within Ford dealerships.
Phipps said the Chattanooga Tourism Co. was able to suggest locations, and he was on site for the entire shoot. He said he even dropped hints about maybe featuring locals musicians in the ad.
"That was us getting a little greedy, maybe, but they found Swayyvo, which is great," Phipps said.
Scenes were shot at locations around town including at Harrison Bay State Park, Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center, Walnut Street Bridge, Ross's Landing, Tennessee Aquarium, Market Street Bridge and Enterprise South.
Pathfinder executive producer and co-owner Lucky Ramsey said her company has worked with Chattanooga Tourism Co. on past projects such as marketing ads for the city.
"We've also worked with Carl and Swayyvo before," she said.
Song placements are becoming a thing for Swayyvo. "Zone" was also used in the LeBron James return to Cleveland video on an NBC.com video in 2018 and in the "NBA 2k21" video game, and "Never Lose" is included in the video game "NBA 2K22." He has a new song called "Red" that was just added to the "NBA 2k22" playlist, as well. He also appears in ads for Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union.
Swayyvo said he submitted "the beats for the track several months ago, and kind of kept track of it, but the commercial ended up way bigger than I thought it might."
Ramsey said Pathfinder worked with the Tourism Co and several other local agencies to get approval to shoot on the Market Street Bridge and at Harrison Bay State Park, for example.
"It was great working with the local groups," she said.
"Chattanooga police helped with rolling stops on the bridge so nobody got hurt and no one was inconvenienced."
The ad was shot over three "absolutely perfect days in December," Ramsey said. "The sky was crystal clear blue and the light was perfect all day."
Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6354. Follow him on Twitter @BarryJC.