Energy BBDO uses drones to film Woodford Reserve

(Woodford pays tribute to 146-year-old-event)

Nothing says, “May” more than the annual running of the Kentucky Derby. Originally slated to run May 2, the 146-year-old derby will now be postponed until September 5 due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

It will be the first time the race won’t be held on the first Saturday in May since 1945. At the time the government issued a ban on horse racing due to World War II.

Energy BBDO’s first work for Derby sponsor Woodford Reserve is an homage to the delayed Kentucky Derby and its illustrious history.

The film, titled “My Old Kentucky Home,” recognizes the greatest two Minutes in Sports. Filmed at a vacant Churchill Downs, where Derby 146 was scheduled run this Saturday, it features Kentucky Cellist Ben Sollee playing solo in the Derby Winner’s Circle. Watch the hauntingly beautiful spot below:

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“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” say Energy BBDO Co-Chief Creative Officers, Josh Gross and Pedro Perez. “It’s amazing that a song from 1850 speaks so perfectly to this moment in time” add the CCCOs.

The imagery of the iconic Twin Spires — along with vacant stands, track and starting gate – were all shot with drones in order to comply with the safety and social distance rules by Energy BBDO internal studio, Flare. And all of this work, from the conception being approved to being on-air was done in less than 2 weeks.

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

The video will go live at NBC this Saturday during the re-air of the legendary 2015 Kentucky Derby that began American Pharaoh’s historic Triple Crown (from 3 to 6pm EST).


CLIENT: Brown-Forman/Woodford Reserve


  • Chairwoman: Tonise Paul
  • President & CEO: Jeff Adkins
  • Chief Creative Officers: Josh Gross & Pedro Pérez
  • Executive Creative Directors:
  • Creative Directors: Jonathan Fussell, Robin Laurens
  • Art Directors:
  • Copywriters:
  • Head of Integrated Production: John Pratt
  • Executive Producer: Jeff Davis
  • Producer: Lily McNamara
  • Executive Director of Music: Daniel Kuypers
  • Music Business Coordinator: Karolina Barej
  • Managing Director:
  • 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

EDIT: Flare Chicago

  • Executive Producer: Jenny McDonald
  • Managing Editor: Casey Cobler

SOUND: Flare Chicago

Senior Audio Engineer: Steven Aguilar

COLOR: Nice Shoes

  • Senior Colorist: Ron Sudul
  • Producer: Serena Bove
  • Flame Artist: Mark Anderson

MUSIC: sonaBLAST! Records

MEDIA: Spark Foundry


SONG: My Old Kentucky Home

VOCALS: Ben Sollee