Evidently, Lillooet has the guts and Lillooet has the glory.
Guts and glory are two key recurring themes in the marketing campaign for Dodge Ram trucks.
And when Dodge representatives scouted around Western Canada several months ago for ideal locations for commercials to launch their new Ram 1500-S pickup truck, Lillooet was chosen as one of those locations.
Last week, a 70-person crew spent three days in town filming the commercials, which will be aired this fall.
Four models of Ram 1500-S trucks executed sharp turns around corners before coming to quick stops while camera crews captured every moment and angle of the action. The Lillooet segments for the commercials were filmed at the Seton Lake lookout and near Duffey Lake on Highway 99 South.
Rob Baker, creative director for the Dallas, Texas-based Richards Group advertising agency, was in Lillooet to assist with the shooting. Marissa Hunter, the Detroit-based head of marketing for Dodge, was also on scene to oversee the shoot.
"We were looking for a variety of topography, based on the elements we wanted to feature in the commercials," Baker told the News. "We were looking for mountains, we were looking for rivers, we were looking for open land to help reflect some of the Texas landscape - our trucks are popular there - as well as some of the features on the truck."
He described the new trucks as "remarkably efficient, powerful and technically superior to anything they've created before."
Other Canadian locations included Calgary, Kamloops and Douglas Lake near Merritt. From Lillooet, the film crew and their brand new Ram trucks headed to Vancouver Island for more filming.
Baker said production will continue for another month. The commercials will then be edited, with digital enhancements and colour level adjustments, and gravel-voiced spokesman Sam Elliott will add the voice-overs before the commercials are presented to Chrysler/Dodge Ram for approval.
"It's a complex creative process, requiring a lot of energy, late nights - and coffee," said Baker.