SALISBURY, NC (OCT. 2, 2015) – From Louisville, Ky., to the Florida Panhandle, Cheerwine hit the road for months this year on a mission: to meet the legendary, inspirational people and places across the American Southland to give them a national platform for their stories.
After uncovering the “hidden gems” across 7 states and 26 cities, Cheerwine has “popped the top” on an eight-episode docu-series that will be available on multiple video on-demand platforms starting Oct. 1st, 2015.
The 98-year-old soft drink has a long tradition of celebrating the small-town heroes who do amazing things in their communities with little fanfare. The Local Legend Project is Cheerwine’s homage to them – a content-rich series that uses its “passion brand” status and nimbleness to help other “Davids” take on their Goliaths, much like Cheerwine itself.
“We may not have the multi-million-dollar ad budgets of the bigger brands, but we know that the stories of authentic, unique, independent, family-owned businesses are powerful enough to inspire people nationwide and in doing so gain support for our brand through our purpose,” says Tom Barbitta, SVP of marketing for Cheerwine. “The Local Legend Project demonstrates in a very down-home and authentic way that a soft drink can play on the same field as the big brands by doing things its own way and staying true to its values – ones Cheerwine shares with all the docu-series’ legendary people and places. Cheerwine is a true ‘brand of the people’ and we hope the series demonstrates our love of community and real people…away from the hype and over-marketed world we live in.”
The Making of a Legendary Docu-Series
From the juke joint in a ravine in Bessemer, Ala., to an artist who sculpts entirely out of crayons in Nashville, Tenn., all the way to the pit masters serving up the country’s best BBQ, Cheerwine’s documentary crew covers it all. The first ever “face of the brand” and host/director Bo Stevenson, along with producer Haley Moore, and camerawoman/editor Morgan Robertson, spent three months on the road uncovering authentic, hidden pioneers, heroes and masters who were identified with help from each city’s local residents.
In keeping with Cheerwine’s tradition of building strong relationships with its fans, the company reached out on social media to discover local legends. Before heading to each city, they asked fans for help finding one-of-a-kind people and places by using the hashtag #cheerwinelocallegends. Bo Stevenson, host of The Local Legend Project, also talked with local newspapers and TV stations to spread the world about Cheerwine’s hunt for heroes. “Our crew would land in a new city every weekend, not knowing anybody and nimbly follow social media leads: seeing a tweet recommending a place, then going to investigate. It’s a delicious job, but somebody has to do it,” says Stevenson.
Once the episodes were complete, Cheerwine partnered with FilmBuff, a leading distributor of independent films and documentaries. “The beauty of branded entertainment is that it levels the playing field,” says Janet Brown, CEO of FilmBuff. “What matters to audiences is the quality of the story. That can come just as easily from a beloved family-owned company like Cheerwine as a large multinational corporation. The Local Legend Project has a powerful message and we look forward to sharing it with audiences across the globe.”
Thanks to the docu-series’ fresh and real approach to telling the stories of the South’s unique and hidden gems, FilmBuff successfully secured distribution on iTunes, VIKI, Vimeo, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, Dailymotion and Vessel.
For more information about The Local Legend Project, or to nominate one of your own, visit cheerwine.com/locallegends.
About Cheerwine: Local Legends. National Treasures.
Launched in 1917 by L.D. Peeler, Cheerwine is a soft drink with a flavor that always surprises. It is an iconic brand from North Carolina. Owned and distributed by the Carolina Beverage Corp. and Cheerwine Bottling Co. in Salisbury, N.C., the 98-year-old company is still privately owned and managed by the same founding family, five generations of whom have worked there. Cliff Ritchie leads Cheerwine as president and CEO. Available in supermarkets, restaurants, mass merchandisers and convenience stores in select states nationwide and on the website at cheerwine.com.