The famous household name for coolers and other outdoor gear recently released a mini-documentary series celebrating fatherhood and its influence on outdoor pursuits.
Yeti recently released its five-part documentary series "My Old Man" to celebrate fatherhood and its lasting impact on the outdoors.
The Austin, TX-based company launched this series late May to best represent all key demographics within the brand's target audiences. Their goal, said series collaborator John Muszynski of Mediavest, is to show the "value of what premium storytelling is all about."
The videos range from six to eight-minute minutes in length and tell five unique stories about fatherhood.
"They've all carved out interesting careers, and all of them had something different to say about being a son or daughter or mother or father," said Scott Ballew, head of content at YETI "It was important for us to get well-rounded stories where people can see something that reminds them of themselves."
Video 1: Between Pulses
The first video features pro-surfer Shane Dorian, who also does bow hunting in Hawaii. Below is a glimpse into the close bond he has with his nine-year-old son:
"A lot of people will say, 'He's just like you!' He likes to go bow hunting, he likes to surf, he's into skateboarding, he's naturally athletic, and a lot of that's true," says Shane. "We think we have all this influence over our kids if we parent some certain way. But really, I think you have very little influence on your kids. You can help them to become a good person, but as far as who they're going to be, that's there. That's who they are."
Video 2: The Last Best Man
This video features Hilary Hutcheson, who discusses the bond she and her father share through angling. She taught her father, an outdoorsman who spent many years working for the National Park Service, how to fly fish:
I still don't know whether my HEE-row will ever refer to himself as a fly fisherman. But I do know that if he becomes passionate about fly fishing, he'll share it with someone who needs, for whatever complex or simple reason, the healing that comes from the sun on their face, the wind in their hair, and a wild trout sliding from their hand.
Video 3: Coach's Son
This video centers around former NFL player Jordan Shipley and his football coach father, who always told him to cast far and wide in life:
"One of my dad's big sayings was always, 'Prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child,'" says Jordan. "Don't try and do everything for them, or shelter them because sooner or later they'll have to learn how to handle circumstances and succeed for themselves."
Video 4: Anchor Point
This video features J.T Van Zandt, son of namesake country music singer known for the tune "Pancho and Lefty" --a song that has been covered by Willie Nelson and the late Merle Haggard. He discusses how the outdoors helped him cope with his father's absence.
I lived with him a couple of times in Austin in the 80s. He was always reading books about the sea, ancient mariners, and wooden ships--things that would eventually become topics of my own fascination. When he wasn't on the road, we'd hang out on Lake Travis in a little sailboat, fishing and drinking. I'd feel special, like I was with the coolest dude on the planet. I would usually drive us home. Austin was an oasis, but eventually my grades would suffer, and my Mom would reel me back to Houston. She always provided the needed counterbalance to my dad's wild ways.
Video 5: Made in Driftwood
This video features Roy and Ryan Seiders,brothers and co-founders of YETI. They were largely inspired by their entrepreneurial father to create a company. What also compelled them to design their famous coolers? Their love of fishing and hunting.
When Roy and Ryan burst onto the scene with YETI, they created a whole new market category--high-end, high-function, damn-near-indestructible coolers, made for, and by, passionate outdoorsmen. The Seiders brothers developed YETI coolers because they're die-hard hunters and anglers. And over the years, they realized that they needed something better than what the market offered.
The outdoor industry certainly has an advantage over many other industries with its use of cutting edge technology and storytelling. These videos paying tribute to fathers is evidence of that. If you watch this mini-series, have a tissue in hand!