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Agrimarketing : November December 2008
2008 PRODUCT OF THE YEAR BRINGINGABOLDTRAITPACKAGE TOMARKET by Claire Keyes, Bader Rutter T heHERCULEX Insect Protection family of traits fromDow AgroSciences took in-plant pro- tection to awhole newlevel.With the introduction ofHERCULEX XTRAin 2006, corn growerswere offered in- plant protection againstmore pests than any other trait combination. Yet DowAgroSciences, Indianapolis, IN, and its agency, Bader Rutter&Associates, Brookfield,WI, had a big challenge on their hands to overcome a head start in themarket that had been gained by their chief corn trait com- petitor,YieldGard fromMonsanto. “In order to differentiate HERCULEX XTRAagainst the domi- nantmarket share of YieldGard,we established a value proposition based on the superior spectrumand protection againstmore pests,” says Grant Thekan, TeamLeader for Bader Rutter &Associates. Not only did thismessaging sup- portHERCULEX XTRA, but it also playedwellwith DowAgroSciences’ own seed brand,Mycogen Seeds, as well aswith seed companies that were potential licensees of the trait technology. Successful launch of HERCULEX XTRA included aWeb site and technical literature. “Research shows thatmost grow- ers first choose a seed brand and then select the trait(s),” says Thekan. “Therefore, convincing seed compa- nies early on thatHERCULEX XTRA was good for themand their cus- tomerswas critical to gaining adop- tionwith growers.” AGGRESSIVE LAUNCH Amultimedia launch campaign for HERCULEX XTRAwas designed to drive grower demand and support sales. BaderRutterworkedwithDow AgroSciences to provide all of the tools that seed companieswould need to succeed at selling hybridswith HERCULEX XTRAInsect Protection. Fromstaple items, such as sell sheets, product use guidesand HERCULEXshieldfieldsigns, to radio ads, print ads andWebsites, the team constructed a solidmarketingpackage. PRINT CAMPAIGN Print ads in agricultural trademaga- zines featured a simple, dominant image—a single kernel of corn rep- resentingHERCULEX XTRAas the “hero” of the ad. Copywas in the first person,withHERCULEX XTRA boasting of the powerful protection it provides. The “I amHERCULEX XTRA” ad concept continues to run in ag trade publications, butwith new tweaks each year. “We added a newtwist to the HERCULEX print campaign in 2007 by attaching a post-it note to the ad. The post-itwas a side-by-side com- parison of the pest spectrumcon- trolled byHERCULEX XTRAversus YieldGard VT,” says Thekan. “It was impactful and growers could pull off the post-it note to save for future reference.” The print campaign featured a single kernel of corn representing HERCULEX XTRA. A post-it note attached to the ad in 2007 called attention to newperformance data. 30 AgriMarketing s November/December 2008 RADIO STRATEGY In addition to traditional ad buys on radio stations in key geographies, Bader Rutterworked hard to lever- (more on page 33)
American Seed Trade Association