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Agrimarketing : June 2009
35 Best of NAMA-Valent:32 Feature Story 6/12/09 12:55 PM Page 35 2009 NAMA’S BEST OF SHOW—SPECIALTY MAKINGA“BIGFOOT”PRINT by Emily Dahlbeck, archer>malmo I n the highly competitive golf coursemaintenance business, it’s not always easy to be a course superintendent. In some cases, their very job is at the hands of a greens committeewho canmake or break a superintendent’s career based on their opinion of the turf quality onHole 15.As a result,many superintendents are extremely reluctant to take uncalculated riskswith their fungicide programs, relying on the old adage, “if it ain’t broke.…” Add to that, the stress of fil- tering through information fromthe biggest names in the turf protection industrywith nearly unlimitedmarketing budgets and the promises of howtheir productswill solve all a course’s disease problems. Frankly, after awhile all the products can begin to look the same to a superintendent— especiallywhen products repeatedly fail tomeet their claims of control of suchmajor diseases as the “Big 3” (dollar spot, anthracnose and brown patch) froma single product. Sowhen chargedwith Take themyths head on.And “go big or go home.” Their solution: bring in Big Foot. SEEING IS BELEIVING The creative teamat archer>malmo introduced the idea of a campaign appealing to the emotion of the skeptical superintendent, the onewho had heard all the claims before, by addressing the issuewith a cam- In addition to breaking out from other fungicide advertising, Valent wanted to focus theirmarketing strategy on increasing trials of Tourney among the reluctant superintendents. “The teamknewif superinten- dentswould actually try Tourney, theywould see that the product truly works on the Big 3,” explainsMeg Brodman,Account Executive at archer>malmo. “That idea of ‘try it and you see itworks’ became central to the creativemessage.” Since somany superinten- dents considered Big 3 control to be amyth, Valent decided to take themyth head on and center its launch campaign on the greatestmyth of all: Big Foot. Through an integrated advertising, public relations and online campaign, the team created amemorable “persona” for Tourney fungicide and the tag line of “Tourney: Seeing is Believing”. Big Footwould be able to launching the newTourney Fungicide to the turfmarket, Valent Professional Products and archer>malmo had a challenge: they were introducing a single product that did in fact control the Big 3, but talking to an audiencewho had grown highly skeptical of these types of claims and wary of shaking up programs that were at leastmaintaining their turf quality.Additionally, Valent, a comparatively newentrant into the turf market had to break through the clutter of a very catered-tomarketplace and launch a fungicide against competitorswithmore than ten times the budget and the staff. They decided the onlyway to win the battle to gain awareness for Tourneywas to creatively debunk the skepticismthat a single fungicide could control the Big 3. Be unique. Photos of attendees and Big Footwere taken in the Valent booth at the Golf Industry Show. paign that is both informational and visually arresting. “Just flip through the pages of any golf trademagazine and you’ll bemetwith page after page of the same-old-same-old glamour shots of a pristine golf course and the promise of ‘our productwillmake your course look like this’,” says Mike Butler, Senior Vice President and Director of the Valent account at archer>malmo. “For the introduction of Tourney, we decidedwe could followsuit or we could do something truly unique to stand out fromthe clutter. Something a bit risky thatwouldmake people stop and say ‘well that is not what I expected to see in thismagazine. Tellmemore.…’” prove that by “seeing,” superintendents could “believe” control of the Big 3 is possible —just like his existence. BIG FOOT’S BIG DEBUT Phase one of the launchwas centered on a series of creative videos teasing the overall print campaign. Valent used actor superintendents to tout “seeing is believing,” featuring the superintendents talking about how they “heard the rumors” and “had to see it for themselves” (which, in a twist,was not about Big Foot playing golf in the background, but rather Tourney’s effectiveness on the Big 3). The viral videos, including one with an unseen creature running through thewoodswith a promise of “It’s coming” and “seeing is believing” statements throughout,were pushed out to superintendents via the Valent sales force and housed on (more on page 36) June 2009 s Agri Marketing 35
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