Watch Woodford Reserve's Bittersweet Homage to the Delayed Kentucky Derby

Film will air during NBC's replay of the 2015 event

NBC plans Kentucky Derby coverage on Saturday, but it won't be the 146th edition of the iconic race, which has been moved to September amid the coronavirus crisis.

Instead, the network will replay the classic 2015 derby. (No spoiler on which horse wins.) During the 3-6 p.m. telecast, Derby presenting sponsor Woodford Reserve bourbon will run a short film, "My Old Kentucky Home," shot in an empty Churchill Downs, with local cellist Ben Sollee soloing in the Winner's Circle:

My Old Kentucky Home

" 'My Old Kentucky Home' is a song that's been played on the Kentucky Derby for over 80 years, and we didn't want to break that tradition," explain Josh Gross and Pedro Perez, creative leads at Energy BBDO, which created the spot as its first work for the Brown-Forman brand. "It's amazing that a song from 1850 speaks so perfectly to this moment in time."

Drones from Chronicle Cinema captured footage of the deserted stands, tracks and starting gate, along with the iconic twin spires, while Sollee sang and played. The agency's internal studio, Flare, handled post production.

"When we started to work from home two months ago, the thought of doing remote edit sessions seemed really time-consuming" says Flare managing editor Casey Cobler. "The reality has been that we are just as fast, if not faster, than when everyone was at the agency."

"My Old Kentucky Home" took two weeks from conception to completion. "Technology allows us to involve everyone in the process, from creative to account to strategy, without having to send cuts around the office awaiting a response," Cobler says.

If the Derby were held Saturday as planned, the University of Louisville Cardinal Marching Band would perform "My Old Kentucky Home" at the event, a traditional dating back to 1936. Instead, band members and other musicians plan a virtual rendition.


Brown-Forman, My Old Kentucky Home Solo
Agency: Energy BBDO
Client: Brown-Forman
Product: Woodford Reserve
Title: My Old Kentucky Home Solo
Original Air Dates: April 29, 2020
Media Type: TVC, OLV
URL (if applicable): TBD

Chairwoman: Tonise Paul
President & CEO: Jeff Adkins

Chief Creative Officers: Josh Gross & Pedro Pérez
Executive Creative Directors:
Creative Directors: Jonathan Fussell, Robin Laurens

Head of Integrated Production: John Pratt
Executive Producer: Jeff Davis
Producer: Lily McNamara
Executive Director of Music: Daniel Kuypers
Music Business Coordinator: Karolina Barej

Client Service Director: Lianne Sinclair
Senior Account Director: Billy Jones
Account Supervisor: Rachel James
Account Executive: Sergio Ortiz
Strategy Director: Kaitlyn Thompson

Production Company:  Chronicle Cinema, Louisille, KY
Director: Zach Meiners
Producer: Taylor Young
Director of Photography: Gary Leo Miller
Drone Pilot: Kevin Bryan
Editorial Company: Flare Chicago
Executive Producer: Jenny McDonald
Managing Editor: Casey Cobler
Audio Company: Flare Chicago
Senior Audio Engineer: Steven Aguilar
Color Company: Nice Shoes
Senior Colorist: Ron Sudul
Producer: Serena Bove
Flame Artist: Mark Anderson
Music Company: sonaBLAST! Records
Media Agency: Spark Foundry

PR Company: KLG PR
Song: My Old Kentucky Home
Vocals: Ben Sollee

Advertise With Us

Featured Clio Award Winner



The best in creativity delivered to your inbox every morning.