If the woman holding the cow in the latest Culver’s commercial looks familiar, it’s because many Sun Prairie area residents know her through her family, the Rademachers, whose dairy farm is located east of Sun Prairie.
Heidi Meier, who many Sun Prairie residents may know as Heidi Rademacher, appears in the ad (scheduled to air through Nov. 13) in front of her family’s barn.
“We wanted to have a farmer who sources milk for our custard so we can be as authentic as possible in our ads,” remarked Eric Skrum, Director of Public Relations and Communications for Culver Franchising System.
Authentic for sure. After the ad aired, Rademacher started receiving congratulations from social media and friends—but not everywhere.
“The guys—they’re all giving me a hard time that they have to get an appointment to come to the farm,” Meier laughed, referring to her neighbors and other farm workers. She said they told her ‘don’t forget the small people—your neighbors down the road.’
“Guys—can we even come on the farm?” Meier recalled her neighbors saying. “You know, it just cracks me up—the joking, the laughing, the comments. I think a lot of people know I could take it both ways. So yeah, it’s been a lot of fun.”
She remembered when the crew contacted her to tell her shooting would start in August, with the ad airing in September. The ad also features Sun Prairie’s second Culver’s restaurant on Oxford Place that opened in October.
“They bought my whole wardrobe, they did my hair and makeup,” Meier recalled. “I was the look for them, but they also gave me the look they were looking for—as in attire, hair and makeup.”
The cow was also provided by a DeForest family whose cows have been featured elsewhere, and Culver’s had reached out to that family to get the cow for the commercial. The barn in the background—complete with a barn quilt—belongs to Al and Fran Rademacher, her parents.
“They had a big screen and they were sitting behind,” Heidi said, referring to her parents, on the day of shooting. “There were only a few people who were actually seeing me do it—there were two producers with some people, and then they had this big screen and there were probably 10 or 15 people behind that.
“And my parents were one of them and they heard me say it,” Heidi added. “And people were videoing my parents, and I think my mom was choking up—she was just so happy that I was being able to do this or have this opportunity. And my dad was rocking in his chair with his eyes closed, shaking his head and smiling the whole time.
“Because he could hear how I said the lines,” she recalled. “And the producers were like, ‘oh yeah, I really liked this, but try to change this or do this. And they even said at the end ‘we never thought it would go this quick’ so I don’t know what that meant.”
One of the producers had her say the line that was in the commercial several times. Most of the time, she said, she was relaxed, until one of the producers mentioned where the commercial would be aired.
“One of the producers is like the last line was ‘with love from Wisconsin’ or ‘from Wisconsin with love’ and he said ‘no, say it like you mean it—people nationwide are going to see this.’ And that was the one point that I was like, ‘why? Are you serious and not just Wisconsin?’ and he said ‘Oh, no, this is going nationwide.’ And that was probably the only time I was nervous.”
Meier said she was happy to do the ad because Culver’s is a big supporter of the agricultural community and farmers. The company donated $250,000 to the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center, donated $1,500 to help rebuild the Onalaska FFA Chapter and served frozen custard at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis this year—just to name a couple of ways the company assists the agriculture community through its “Thank You Farmers” program.
“Everybody that dealt with this commercial were just class act people. I can’t get over and tell you how nice everybody was and how understanding they were in making everything run smoothly, and get it done between when I would be done with chores—it was just it was like I said unbelievable. I felt like a movie star for like an hour.”