What is in this article?:
The “Farm Families of Mississippi” campaign, aimed at enhancing the image of the state’s farmers with an agriculturally-unaware public, had "a very successful" initial effort, says David Waide, president of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, which spearheaded the program. "It “succeeded beyond our expectations,” he says.
Emphasis on hot button issues
“From the poll results,” Gant says, “we developed a list of ‘hot button’ issues that we could use as the focus for our campaign: the affordability of food in the U.S. compared to other developed nations; that most farms are family owned and operated — not corporate farms; that farmers are good stewards of the environment and natural resources; that livestock farmers treat their animals well, contrary to images presented by animal rights organizations; and that agriculture is a driving force in Mississippi’s economy.”
Once the key issues were selected, Greg Gibson, MFBF member services director/multimedia coordinator, videographer Mark Morris, and their staff did the creative work for the billboards, TV/radio spots, and handout materials.
“We’re fortunate in having some very talented people, who did an outstanding job in turning these ideas into very effective messages,” Gant says.
“TV/radio time, billboards, etc., aren’t cheap, but we were fortunate that a number of agribusiness partners, organizations, and individuals made generous contributions to supplement Farm Bureau’s seed money.”
Greg Gibson says Farm Bureau’s goal in developing the campaign was “to be sure our messages were credible and that they were what the consumer public needed to hear. After we had the results from the consumer poll, we worked with our marketing firm to develop scripts for the TV spots, logos, billboard messages, radio spots, and promotional materials.
“We concentrated on the Jackson metropolitan market, because that’s where the state’s largest agriculturally unaware population is. We ran 1,200 TV spots, scheduled around newscasts, on two stations.
“As part of the package, one of the TV stations provided an equal number of public service spots with their on-air personality, Barbie Bassett, and Farm Bureau was allowed to host a cooking segment that featured a local farmer who talked about the campaign.”
There were 15 billboards, 15 static and one digital, throughout the Jackson metro area in high visibility locations, and time was purchased on a statewide radio talk network.
Another highlight of the campaign, Gibson says, was a tie-in promotion with the Mississippi Braves, an AA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves baseball team.