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Agrimarketing : November December 2009
38 Agri Marketing November/December 2009 of Pioneer." Davies says, "Our radio producer strongly recommended going with this A-list voiceover talent from Chicago. When we heard samples of his work for major con- sumer marketers such as Anheuser- Busch and Chevrolet we knew it was a match for what we wanted to convey for the Pioneer brand. "Employing this level of talent can't make poor copy good, but it can make great creative even better. We saw this happen with the Y Series spots." Television advertising also was part of the broadcast mix. "We were able to find a breathtaking soybean field to set the scene for the spot," says Patrick Sheridan, McCormick Senior Art Director. "Ironically, this field was less than 10 miles from the town of Pioneer, IA." Using the dramatic field as a backdrop, state-of-the-art computer graphic technology completed the telling of the Y Series story. Another unique element in the communications toolbox is Pioneer GrowingPoint magazine, which is mailed to every customer. "While advertising did a terrific job of building awareness of the Y Series, GrowingPoint gave us a platform for telling the story behind the story. We were able to educate customers about how the Accelerated Yield Technology (AYT) system is the source of Y Series in the words of the researchers who made it happen," says Alan Bell, McCormick Account Supervisor. The orchestrated launch of Y Series was timed to take advantage of Pioneer 's presence at the Farm Progress Show. A very large translu- cent green "Y" had a significant place in the Pioneer tent, drawing the grower audience into the area. Y Series activities at the show included featured spots on a giant-screen monitor, highlights during live, onstage presentations and VIP dinners for key grower influencers. Online advertising included ani- mated rich media and expandable banners in several versions, along- side traditional banner ads in big box and leaderboard style. Additionally, Google keyword search and paid search activities boosted online presence with content on www.pioneer.com/yseries. Social media via Twitter also was utilized to fur- ther get the word out to target audi- ences with performance information. PUBLIC RELATIONS To further inte- grate the cam- paign, the McCormick's public relations team featured information on Y Series soybeans within the Pioneer PR program throughout the year. The team kicked off the launch of Y Series with a phone press conference. Over 20 ag trade media participated, in addition to the Associated Press and the Des Moines Register. Other PR activities included sev- eral media-related events, such as the National Association of Farm Broadcasting and the Ag Media Summit, to exclusive Pioneer-driven activities like summer crop tours and the company's annual ag trade media event hosted on the Johnston campus. "Interviews were con- ducted with every major ag media outlet, both print and broadcast, to drive the message of changing yield expectations to growers and indus- try," says Jerry Harrington, Pioneer Sales and Marketing Public Relations Manager for North America. Throughout the launch, Pioneer's extensive network from agronomists and technical information managers to plant breeders and researchers, were highlighted in multiple activities to let journalists know they were available to share information on Y Series and other topics. Beyond the industry events, this included features in the seed company's Little Green E-Mail --- which is a quarterly e-newsletter that provides "news to use." Another outlet for sharing infor- mation on managing for higher soy- bean yields was the multiple "Crop Talk" columns in many regional ag trade publications across U.S grow- ing areas. "Providing background on how new expectations for soybean yields came about and what this means for growers, along with crop management tips, were among the topics highlighted in these columns," says Harrington. "This provided us an additional avenue to get localized information directly in the hands of our grower audience," he adds. POWERFUL RESULTS "Managing a complex multimedia launch campaign involves many moving parts that have to come together seamlessly," says Dan Buck, Pioneer Marketing Communi- cations Manager. "It's testimony to the partnership between Pioneer and McCormick that this happens so successfully. It starts with having all the stakeholders at the table from the beginning to build the plan." Buck adds, "We spend a lot of time in our planning and initial con- cept stages brainstorming about breaking out of the clutter of mes- sages bombarding our grower audi- ence. The goal is to deliver our mes- sage in a unique manner that is also perceptible and credible, but never wavering from the core values of the Pioneer brand. When it all comes together, it can provide very powerful results." The campaign's success helped Y Series surpass all product launch goals of awareness and impressions in the marketplace. "Growers were ready and willing for this type of exciting change," says Davies. "Ultimately, sales are key to measuring success, and doubling the anticipated gain in Pioneer 's soybean market share spoke volumes," he says. AM COMMUNICATIONS/continued from page 36 Pioneer sales professionals reviewing FIT mapping with growers at the Farm Progress Show last September.
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