Musselman’s “Nice One”

We’re likely to see a lot of down-homey, uncorporate advertising in the coming year as a deepening recession fosters anti-corporate sentiment among consumers. Brands that are actually entitled to that positioning will be unsubtle in making the most of it. That’s the case with Musselman’s applesauce brand, which is made by Knouse Foods — a grower-owned cooperative rather than an agribusiness monolith. Featuring two generations of apple growers (a father and son) in their orchard, this spot by Pittsburgh-based Brunner is so down-home that you’ll feel overdressed if you’re wearing shoes while you watch it. “Folks at Musselman’s aren’t your typical business owners,” says the younger man. “They’re growers, like me.” Whatever you think of “typical business owners,” you can’t accuse apple growers of having driven the economy into a ditch. A few seconds of banter between the father and son may suffice to fill your quota of folksiness for the whole month, but it leaves you in no doubt that Musselman’s is a product of people who know and care about apples, and not something cranked out by a faceless corporation.-Mark Dolliver