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Agrimarketing : September 2008
BLIMP BRINGS INNOVATION, ENABLES SYNGENTA TO TOUCH LIVES by Julie Richards, Gibbs & Soell, Inc. I n a time of declining cotton acres and an increased focus on corn and soybeans, maintaining aware- ness and enthusiasm about a cotton offering seemed daunting. In light of these trends, AVICTA Complete Cotton needed to draw extra special attention going into its third season of commercial use, which came in the form of some- thing big and unique in the agribusi- ness market — the AVICTA Complete Cotton blimp. THE IDEA COMES TO LIFE Ablimp seemed like the perfect medium to deliver the central mes- sage of AVICTAComplete Cotton — distinctive and one of a kind. The strategy to use a blimp in an agricultural market was ground- breaking and innovative in the same manner AVICTAComplete Cotton was unparalleled in the cotton mar- ket. Afirst-of-its-kind seed treatment combination of separately registered seed treatments, AVICTAComplete Cotton has revolutionized cotton production for thousands of growers by offering early-season protection against nematodes, insects and dis- eases through convenient on-the- seed delivery. Although a blimp is typically just a floating billboard in the sky, Syngenta was able to harness the energy a blimp ignites and allow communities to become part of a campaign, not just passive observers. Acomprehensive marketing cam- paign was formulated with events, a charity partnership and community relations activities that brought good will, joy and positive customer inter- actions throughout 11 states. The overall theme chosen for the blimp campaign was one of celebra- tion and engagement — “The Biggest Thing to Happen to Cotton.” Taking cues from world fairs and big top circus events of the early 1900s, the visual look of the AVICTA Complete Cotton blimp was larger 18 AgriMarketing ¦ September 2008 than life and surrounded by fanfare and hoopla. THE JOURNEY From the commencement of the expe- dition at the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show in Memphis, TN, to the ulti- mate destination in Wilson, NC, the 128-foot AVICTAComplete Cotton hospitals throughout the tour. In total, 109 Believe In Tomorrow patients and family members were able to ride in the AVICTAComplete Cotton blimp. Founded in 1982, Believe In Tomorrow provides exceptional hospi- tal and retreat housing services to criti- cally ill children and their families. Cole Kaspar, 3, is excited to board the AVICTA Complete Cotton blimp in Memphis, TN. Cole received his ride through the Believe In Tomorrow’s “Hand’s On Adventures” program. blimp created intrigue and excite- ment in every community it visited. As the blimp flew over 11 Cotton Belt states, it brought product aware- ness in key farming communities, but the real story was the impact it had on lifting spirits and planting seeds of hope. At the onset of the campaign, Syngenta formed an extraordinary partnership with Believe In Tomorrow Children’s Foundation and its “Hands On Adventures” pro- gram. Syngenta helped fulfill the program’s mission to offer critically ill children a chance to believe in and focus on the future, rather than the stressful routine of hospital visits and treatments, by providing blimp rides to children at nine airports near The foundation believes in keeping families together during a child’s med- ical crisis and that the gentle cadence of normal family life has a powerful influence on the healing process. The foundation has five respite houses on the East Coast and two hospital houses in Baltimore, MD. Two years ago, Believe In Tomorrow launched a major national initiative to prioritize its services to critically ill children of active U.S. military families. The blimp rides made an enor- mous impact on both the children and their families. “It is a great thing that a blimp ride can take away Michael’s thoughts about his sick- ness and pain,” says Mark Congner, whose nine-year-old son with
CAMA 2008 Canada