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SPECIALTY AGRICULTURE FOCUS REPORT
CARVING OUT A MARKET

Realizing health is a strong purchase motivator for consumers, the National Watermelon Promotion Board, Orlando, Fla., rolled out the first installment of its long-term health strategy during 2000-2001 with marked success. The overall drive behind NWPBís long-term strategy is to motivate consumers to incorporate more watermelon into diets. Watermelon is perfectly poised to seize opportunities in health as it contains more lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable (research shows that lycopene may help to prevent cancer), and watermelon carries the official heart-check certification from the American Heart Association, as well as many other nutrients such as vitamins A and C, potassium, iron and folic acid.

Health is clearly a strong purchase motivator for consumers, which is why NWPBís consumer campaign was developed to create more awareness of watermelonís health benefits.

Targeting Health

Historically, NWPBís broadcast and publicity efforts have exclusively targeted newspaper and magazine food editors, and foodservice and trade publications. NWPBís 2000-2001 Communications Plan, however, successfully expanded publicity efforts to include health editors of newspapers as well as womenís and menís general interest magazines and health and fitness magazines. Media kits during this year heralded the slogan, Boost Your Health Esteem, and contained information announcing watermelonís high lycopene content, as well as the American Heart Associationís heart-check certification. In addition, the kits contained fun, carving ideas from carving chef, Chef Harvey. NWPBís broadcast campaign primarily focused on Chef Harveyís creative carving efforts.

Watermelonís health message and/or versatility was featured in more than 1,200 newspapers across the country and in magazines such as Menís Health, Womanís World, Fitness, Weight Watchers, Shape, Health, Menís Health and Teen. Watermelonís important health information in the year 2000 helped it acquire four times the coverage it secured the year before.

The board expects that as consumers learn how they can nutritionally benefit from eating watermelon, they will demand it. Greater watermelon demand may potentially provide a greater return back to producers, handlers and importers. Also, if consumers see watermelon as a necessary addition to their diet, they may assign it a greater value.

NWPBís 2000 broadcast and publicity campaign reached new heights when NWPBís expert watermelon carver, Chef Harvey Rosen, taught Regis Philbin and the rest of America how to carve watermelons on the nationally syndicated Live with Regis and Kathie Lee Show. During the June 15 show, Regis Philbin, guest host Jillian Barberie, and millions of viewers marveled at the innovative watermelon carvings. On August 21, Willard Scott touted watermelon as the most eaten melon on the Today Show. During the segment, Scott held up a large watermelon that had www.watermelon.org carved into it.

Sweet Success

For a budget of less than $100,000, NWPBís broadcast and publicity campaign garnered $2.6 million worth of publicity (if the NWPB had to pay the ad equivalency). The budget also included providing interested consumers with health and/or carving brochures. In addition to the clipping and broadcast report, a total of 13,354 brochures were ordered through the NWPBís Web site and 2,033 brochures were ordered directly by consumers through the mail. The NWPB Web site also had 9.3 million hits compared to last yearís 1.6 million hits. Not only did NWPBís print campaign reach more than 100 million, but it also attained hits in targeted publications including many health-oriented magazines. Furthermore, NWPBís Broadcast Campaign reached more than 11 million people across the country.

ENZA ZADEN BREAKS THROUGH TO PEPPER GROWERS

Breaking The Mold

Enza Zaden is a breeder of premium vegetable seeds, headquartered in Holland. Throughout Europe, Enza Zaden has had an excellent reputation for over 60 years. The company introduced its line of seed to the United States in 1994. Since then, it has made a variety of attempts to establish name recognition and market share.

In 1997, Lorenz Advertising, San Diego, was contracted by Enza Zaden North America, Salinas, Calif., to help bring the Enza Zaden name to the forefront in the minds of growers. The first step was to create a corporate image that stood apart from the competition that accurately represents both the company and the line of seed. After reviewing competitive strategies, many of the ads began to look the same. Lorenzís goal was to break the mold in order to gain share-of-mind.

After the approach was agreed upon, an illustration of a man with vegetables coming out of the top of his head was created. The tagline for the image was, "Vegetables are always on our mind." This message really embodies the corporate philosophy of Enza Zaden North America - unique, specialized, premium and personable. Also, the image is a bit irreverent, anatomically speaking, and belies a certain amount of corporate self-confidence.

The Winning Ad

The Pepper Ad, in particular, was created to reinforce the introduction of one specific variety - Orion - into the Florida market. Orion had been introduced to the market a year earlier through field trials and test plots. Since the variety had been bred specifically for the growing conditions in Florida, it had been extremely well received.

The goal was to link a visual image with Orion and leverage on the success of the product from trial successes. An illustration of a pepper with circuitry inside was created to represent the research and technology that goes into every variety bred. The ad was placed in Citrus & Vegetable magazine, American Vegetable Grower, and Florida Grower.

Handsome Rewards

Since the pepper ad has been placed, sales in Florida have grown steadily. In 1999, the product was introduced in limited field trials, so there were no sales. In 2000, sales were at 18 million seeds. And, in 2001, sales are at 32 million seeds.

The entire marketing approach has been to adjust the growerís perception of Enza Zaden from being thought of as a supplier to being thought of as a co-worker. So far, that approach has paid off for Enza Zaden.

CONTEC HITS HOLE- IN-ONE

In June 2000, The Andersons Inc., Maumee, Ohio, acquired The Scotts Companyís Professional Turf Business. As a result of combining the two organizations, The Andersons sought to develop a campaign that unified the brands of both companiesí legacies and supported the productsí premium market position. Lord, Sullivan & Yoder, Columbus, Ohio, had been working with Scottís for ten years prior to the acquisition and remained onboard with The Andersons to develop Contecís prize-winning campaign.

The number one goal of this advertising campaign was to build awareness about Contec and remind customers of its benefits. Andersons had recently purchased the professional turf products from Scotts so it was important to show this change in ownership, (which is why there are two logos in each ad) even though the product had not changed. In addition, awareness was slipping because competitors were entering the marketplace with new chemical technology. As a result, golf superintendentsí interest in trying new things eroded Contecís market share and awareness had waned.

Andersons wanted to stress the three key benefits of Contec to build awareness. Contec is the industry standard for the greens and tees fertilizer, and it out-performs any other fertilizer on the market. As a result, the creative ad themes were ultimately based on product performance.

Sending Out a Message

The first ad highlighted "fewer clippings." Fewer clippings are very important to the Andersons audience as optimal green speed is achieved through minimal clippings. As a result, a bald man is shown in a barberís cape featuring the words "Contec." The manís haircut portrays fewer clippings just like Contec. This is a humorous, tongue-and-cheek advertising approach guaranteed to generate awareness and get attention.

The second benefit featured in the ads is minimal surge. Surge means too much growth too soon. In golf course theory, tall grass slows the speed of the ball. As a result, the ad plays on the word "surge" and features a power strip connected to a bag of Contec. Again, a fun play on words and visuals was used to get the attention of the audience.

The third benefit of Contec is nutrition, which is why the final ad features a nutrition bar in Contec packaging. This nutrition contributes to better greens for golf courses; therefore, the ad insinuates that just as humans eat nutrition bars for good health, golf course superintendents should be feeding their fairways and greens Contec.

Humor Rises To The Top

The ads were well received by the target audience as sales of Contec increased over the course of the campaign. Because Lord, Sullivan & Yoder and Andersons were so familiar with the key audience for the ads, the companies felt the audience would react positively to a tongue-and-cheek campaign that maintained the productís integrity. Furthermore, the humor in the ads differentiated the campaign from the clutter. The series was placed in Gold Course Superintendentís News and Golfdom. AM

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