April 24, 2017 Pat Pemberton

The Story of Adventure Cow

Pat Pemberton

Strapping a life-sized cartoon cow to a zipline is a slam dunk as a sight gag.

It’s just funny.

When SLO Cal asked us to create a series of videos to promote county tourism and CowParade SLO County, we knew we couldn’t just show a cow in the air for 30 seconds. There had to be a story.

BCA previously created an ambitious “bucket list” of things Adventure Cow (created by syndicated cartoonist Leigh Rubin) would do in the county. What would inspire a cow to get on a surfboard? What would it say as it sped down a zipline? And what would happen if it tried kayaking but failed?

To give us a blueprint, we start each adventure with a storyboard and a two-fold goal. We want the video to be fun while maximizing absurd visuals in a way that still makes visitors want to come here.

So if the cow is gonna kayak in Morro Bay, the majestic Morro Rock has to be in the shot. To make it interesting, what if the cow wipes out? Not only is that funny, but it sets the stage for the next shot: Adventure Cow gliding past the Rock on a gorgeous 40-foot sailboat.

That’s two sight gags and a fun story – all set in beautiful Morro Bay.