Fade In: Red Wing, Minnesota

Red Wing, Minnesota is a real place where real products are made by real craftsmen. Given this reality on the ground, and the Red Wing Shoes company in the center of the action, the choice to make a series of short industrial films is an obvious choice that speaks to quality, durability and several made in America themes.

I like this little film and the others in the series from Brew Creative in Minneapolis. I like what the films convey and how they look. The only thing is this type of film is becoming so popular that it’s hard to tell which made in American brand we’re tuning in to watch. For instance, Danner Boots in Portland produced their own docuvertisments in 2009 that look and feel just like Red Wing’s.

Levi’s is another brand on this page, because, “We Are All Workers.”

And let’s not forget the made in America spots for Jeep, Dodge and Chevy. Here’s Wieden+Kennedy for Jeep:

I’m probably forgetting some other brands in this industrial pride camp. At any rate, I’m interested in how this theme is playing out. Are you receptive to the message? Do you consider where a product is made and how it is made when you buy?

I recently bought a pair of Ranger Boots from L.L. Bean in Freeport, Maine. When the boots arrived, I noticed that they were made in El Salvador, not in Freeport. I wasn’t expecting this, and yes, I was disappointed.

As the video from Bean shows, some of their footwear is made in Maine. So you can see why I’m put off by the fact that the pair I ordered were not. Doubly so, since Ranger Boots are part of L.L. Bean’s signature series.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.