Public Relations Campaign in support of RAM Trucks ‘Farmer’ Takes Top Prize at NAMA Regional Banquet
by Denise Faguy, Farms.com
Farms.com is delighted to share that it has won the “Best of Show Public Relations” Award in the National Agri-Marketing Association Region III “Cornbelt, Iowa, North Central, Northern Prairie” Awards. Farms.com won the award for its Ram Truck “Year of the Farmer” Public Relations Campaign.
“We thought that it was great to win this award right before the start of Super Bowl 2014 weekend, since Super Bowl 2013 is when it all began,” noted Farms.com Executive Vice President Joe Dales. “This Ram Trucks tribute to American farmers helped to positively raise the profile of the agriculture industry to the general public on the world’s largest stage, while at the same time raising funds to support and educate our future farmers.”
The Ram Truck campaign was entered in the category “Public Relations– Overall public relations program supporting product, service or corporate image: directed at farmers, ranchers, and growers, and all other serving agribusiness.” The Best of NAMA honors the best in agricultural marketing communications. Both companies and agencies submit their work for this competition, which is one of the tools used to evaluate creative marketing communications and public relations success in the industry. First place and merit winners from each region are then eligible to advance to the national competition.
In early January 2013, Chrysler contacted Farms.com to assist them with the development of an agriculture campaign related to the Super Bowl 2013. Chrysler’s plan was to use the Super Bowl TV advertisement “Farmer” to launch its “Year of the Farmer” campaign (www.ramtrucks.com/keepplowing). “Farmer” was based upon the “God Made a Farmer” speech delivered by Paul Harvey at the National FFA convention in the 1970s.
As an agriculture leader in utilizing social media, Farms.com had used this same speech as the narration for its YouTube video 18 months earlier, which had gone viral and by that time already generated 1.2 million views. The Paul Harvey speech and the Farms.com video were the inspiration for the Ram Truck campaign.
The Ram Truck commercial aired during the 2013 Super Bowl, as the ‘kickoff’ to a year-long positive campaign that highlighted the importance of agriculture and the impressive contributions that farmers make to the economy and to society overall. As a component of the campaign, Ram Trucks planned to make a donation of up to $1 million to the National FFA Organization (www.ffa.org - Formerly known as Future Farmers of America); based upon the level of engagement with the campaign and how many people watched the online video version of the commercial. From
Farms.com’s perspective, AgCareers.com (a Farms.com company), has been a long-time supporter of the National FFA organization. Furthermore, since the agriculture industry is not frequently recognized through the mainstream media on such an international platform, Farms.com was very supportive of this Ram initiative.
Ram Trucks and its lead advertising agency The Richards Group, created all of the campaign elements; Farms.com provided messaging assistance to the campaign to keep an authentic “farm voice”.
The Farms.com Ram Truck public relations campaign combined traditional public relations tactics with social media and other digital marketing elements, and directly delivered the “Year of the Farmer” message to more than 400,000 agriculture and food industry contacts.
RESULTS: “GOD MADE A FARMER” SCORES A SUPER BOWL TOUCHDOWN!
“I receive letters every day from loyal customers of the competition thanking us for doing that spot and saying that they are considering the Ram,” Chrysler CMO Olivier Francois told Automotive News in regards to the campaign.
It took less than a week for the Ram Trucks Campaign to reach the 10 million view milestone, thus achieving the $1 million FFA donation. By February 14, 2013, the “God Made a Farmer” video had been viewed more than 12 million times on Ram’s original YouTube post alone; other YouTube posts of the commercial have received more than 6 million views.
The “God Made a Farmer” video gained wide-spread appreciation with the public at large and within the agriculture community, to date the official Ram Truck video has received more than 16.8 million views, and other postings of the video have generated in excess of 10 million views. Some experts have crowned it the Best Super Bowl commercial of 2013.
“Year of the Farmer” Campaign Update – 2014
To celebrate its incredible "Year of the Farmer" initiative, Ram has produced an extended version of the “God Made a Farmer” video. The extended version is approximately 40 seconds longer – it is the complete version of the Paul Harvey “So God Made a Farmer” speech. This extended version includes additional imagery. It can be viewed online.