Highly Anticipated Campaign is a Cowboy Love Letter to American Resilience
“You can never rid the human soul of its desire to run free. Not in this country.”
That’s the opening salvo in a new short film written, directed and voiced by Cole Hauser to launch PBR’s new brand campaign, a beautifully shot seven-minute paean to generational American resiliency.
Whereas sports campaigns tend to lean on big plays, big games, and feats of athletic distinction, the new PBR creative celebrates the American spirit at the heart of our enduring freedom.
Resilient cowboy values of hard work, embracing responsibilities, and fighting for principles are all expressions of the freedom our ancestors dreamed about, and the new campaign brings them to life in various iterations fans will see across traditional and social media as well as PBR programming on CBS.
In the short, Hauser, in the role of a bull stock contractor, meets up with his prized athlete grazing on a pasture. The bovine (Beaver Creek Beau, to the faithful) trots enthusiastically toward Hauser’s trailer, and the two travel across a vast, stunning landscape, heading to a PBR event where communities of honest, hard-working people come together and legacies are forged through epic showdowns between man and beast, culminating in the presentation of the National Anthem – the pinnacle symbol of blood-sweat-and-tears sacrifice.
Hauser’s proud and resolute narration concludes, “To conquer without risk is to triumph without glory. This is America. And this is the PBR.”
The accomplished veteran actor starring as Rip Wheeler on television’s No. 1 drama “Yellowstone” teamed up with PBR in 2022 to tell stories that elevate centuries-old values traditionally associated with ranchers, farmers, and cowboys.
“The idea with Cole was, let’s bring in a trusted third-party voice who can tell our story,” PBR CEO and Commissioner Sean Gleason said. “Cole shares our values, he’s been on a bull, he’s a cowboy at heart, and he’s well known – the perfect cowboy to share our story with the world.”
Rather than a new direction, the campaign is a new expression of what PBR has always stood for.
“We’ve always been unabashedly proud of America’s history and heritage, and particularly the important place in that history of cowboys and cowgirls and the values they live by,” Gleason said. “We’re very proud to showcase what it means to truly love America and live the cowboy way.”
Hauser said his goal in working with PBR was “to tell stories revealing the humanity of a group of extraordinary bull-riding cowboys that pulls back the curtain in an uplifting way that celebrates family, loyalty, love, honor, determination and friendship representing the best of Americana.”
Hauser is one of the few actors in Hollywood who have ridden a bucking bull. During filming of the 1998 western The Hi-Lo Country, 9-time world champion and PBR co-founder Ty Murray taught Hauser to ride. He owns a horse named King.
In fact, the actor’s connection with an animal – Beaver Creek Beau, eager to get to the PBR event – makes for one of the creative’s most memorable scenes.
Beaver Creek Beau, 13, retired from competition two years ago. Prior to that, for seven years at the elite level, he was a bull most guys didn’t want to get on, according to his owner Chad Berger. He bucked off 71 of the 87 riders who tried him at the premier level. But outside the arena, he was a sweetheart – akin to a 2,000-pound Labrador retriever who craved human contact.
“If I had one word to describe Beau, it would be ‘kind’,’ Berger said. “He wants to come up and have you rub up on him and scratch him. He’d come against the corral so you could pet him.”
The giant bull was very easy to handle and loved to go places, especially to compete. When PBR approached Berger for a bull actor, the choice was easy. The scene where Beaver Creek Beau readily trots to the trailer was done in one take.
The Hauser-PBR partnership is the first time in PBR’s 30-year history that an outside storyteller has collaborated with the organization to turn up the volume on promoting Western values.
Last weekend, PBR’s premier Unleash The Beast tour, on its third stop of a 23-event season, debuted in Johnstown, Pennsylvania with sell-outs Friday through Sunday. The red-hot UTB is now loading in at SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire for a Friday-Saturday weekend set.
Fans will see, in the words of Hauser, “an ancient dance, two forces of nature, colliding, in harmony as they have for hundreds and hundreds of years before. And what happens in those eight seconds can create legacies that span for generations.