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Best of NAMA 2023

Syngenta Crop Protection Canada Inc. and its agency, Adculture Group Inc., made quite a splash at the 2003 Best of CAMA awards, bringing home the Best of Show - Campaign and Best of Show - Advertising awards. The award-winning Achieve Liquid post-emergent grass herbicide campaign succeeded in bringing a mature brand and product back to life in the marketplace.

Shawn Potter, crop manager, cereals, for Syngenta Canada, says Achieve herbicide, in its original granular formulation, was facing some producer satisfaction issues, and product awareness and sales were declining. In January 2003, Syngenta Canada relaunched Achieve as a liquid product.

The strategy to revitalize the Achieve Liquid brand had a two-pronged objective. Chris Doyle, manager of advertising and direct marketing for Adculture, says the first objective was to reinforce the product's control of wild oat, green and yellow foxtail, Persian darnel and other grassy weeds, and its exceptional crop safety on all varieties of barley and wheat. Next, the campaign aimed to create awareness of Achieve's new liquid formulation.

The campaign, created by Adculture, targeted the barley market in Western Canada. It incorporated traditional print, radio and television advertising with a few novel promotional tactics.

To increase awareness of the product at trade shows in Western Canada, Syngenta and Adculture approached several show managers with a unique idea. The result was a poster that read, "You're Not The Only One About To Make A Splash," which was placed in the men's restrooms at various shows.

"The Splash ad was a unique way to reinforce the liquid message and have some fun as well," Doyle says.

Both Doyle and Potter agree that the idea created quite a buzz in the industry. The sales force also introduced the poster at grower and retailer meetings and received numerous requests from growers and retailers who wanted to place the ad in their own farm "facilities."

The Splash ad and water cooler display are two tools Syngenta Canada and Adculture used to bring an aging brand back to life.
Another popular idea involved an innovative point-of-purchase display for Western Canadian retail outlets. Potter explains that there is only so much space at retail centers and they are constantly receiving promotional materials from companies. To stand out from the crowd, Syngenta Canada placed water coolers in several key retailers with the "Splash" poster attached, along with timely product information.

"With this idea, we were able to create a space just for Syngenta in the retail establishment," says Potter. "We even had additional retailers asking when they would receive their own cooler displays."

Doyle says this was a promotional tool that went beyond traditional displays and really created "talking power" among retail and grower customers.

Finally, Adculture created a traditional advertising platform for print, radio and TV. Doyle says the agency used radio and TV mediums for its immediate message that introduced the new liquid formulation, while the print ad known as "Soft As Silk. Tough As Nails." reinforced Achieve's key messages of product performance and served as a vehicle to deliver a long-term message. This ad was also chosen as Best of Show - Advertising.

Although it's often difficult to measure the effectiveness of a campaign, one thing is for sure: Achieve is back on the radar of Western Canadian growers. The product went from declining sales and low product awareness in its granular formula to being completely sold out in 2003 as a liquid product.

Potter says of the marketing efforts, "It was an effective campaign and integrated strategy. Market research shows that perception of the product with its new innovation has dramatically improved."

Achieve Liquid has proven to be a great demonstration of the power of new innovation and the resulting success from listening to the customer and giving him what he wants. AM

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