Every city has its local favorite—an eatery that has gained favor with the community due to great food and service. A gathering spot that has maintained a place in the hearts and minds of locals through the years. A celebrated tradition transcendent of culinary trends and flash-in-the-pan concepts.
In the heart of Baton Rouge, Louisiana there is such a place. For almost four decades TJ Ribs has been serving up “Legendary Louisiana BBQ” to LSU Tigers fans, locals and visitors alike. With a tried and true menu featuring award winning baby back ribs and Louisiana-style comfort food, TJ Ribs has become not only a celebrated dining venue, but a place where Baton Rouge sports teams, families, co-workers and friends all come together to celebrate good food, community…and let’s not forget LSU football!
Once referenced as “The Holy Grail of LSU Sports Bars,” TJ Ribs has been a passionate supporter of Tigers football since it opened its doors in the 1980s. From photos of Shaquille O’Neil to Billy Cannon’s Heisman Trophy, TJ Ribs houses an impressive LSU memorabilia collection any fan would rave about. Over the years many notable LSU athletes and coaches have frequented TJ Ribs, making it a place to not only watch LSU games, but to experience first hand the greats of the game.
When Engine 8 was hired to produce a TV commercial for TJ Ribs, we knew we weren’t making a typical restaurant spot with aw-shucks grinning customers and glistening plates of food. We were crafting a tribute to Tigers football and to the longstanding connection between LSU and TJ Ribs. The creative team wanted less of a sales pitch and more of a salute to the Baton Rouge community and to the many outstanding student athletes who have passed through TJ Ribs’ doors.
Early on in the brainstorming process, we understood our job was to center the commercial concept around TJ Ribs’ core brand of “Legendary Louisiana BBQ.” We decided to connect the “Legendary” brand made famous by TJ Ribs with the legendary athletes who once defended Tigers stadium for all of Baton Rouge. With perseverance and a little luck, we were able to cast three all-star LSU football alumnus: Heisman Trophy winner Dr. Billy Canon; Arizona Cardinals all-pro cornerback Patrick Peterson; and Arizona Cardinals all-pro safety Tyrann Mathieu. Working with these three gentleman was a delightful experience and a true highlight for everyone involved with the filming.
Filming on location at the TJ Ribs restaurant presented a unique set of challenges. With a cast and crew of over 50, we were able to condense a complex list of sequences into five hours of filming. Thanks to the TJ Ribs staff and our amazing film crew, we were able to take a two-day shoot and pull it off in half a day.
Engine 8 would like to thank our many collaborators who helped pull off the TJ Ribs “Legends” commercial. A special note of gratitude goes out to Finally Restaurant Group, Dr. Billy Canon, Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, EAG Sports Management, Lumehouse Creative, Chris Lewis, Dan Jones, and Cindy Stillwell.