Launching a New Value Proposition
Cargill No Growth-Promoting Antibiotics Launch
85 million earned media impressions
Best sales during holiday season ever
Cargill Turkey and Cooked Meats, one of the largest producers and suppliers of turkeys, needed a way to differentiate its two consumer-facing brands, Shady Brook Farms and Honeysuckle White, from competitors. After a thorough internal analysis of the company’s operations, Cargill determined its competitive advantage to be its ability to raise healthier turkeys more efficiently, even without the use of accepted modern practices such as low-dose administration of antibiotics, which many of Cargill’s competitors use. Cargill Turkey, Crossroads and partner agency Barkley came together to develop a new value proposition based on this advantage and introduced the new proposition to the market prior to Thanksgiving 2014.
Crossroads knew there would be challenges to launching a value proposition based on how food was produced. Specifically, the team needed to be conscious of food advocates who target brands for confusing label claims, mistreatment of animals or simply for being big. Cargill knew the risk, but saw an opportunity to lead the industry toward more transparency and fill an unmet market need. The solution was connecting influencers with the brand promise through turkey farmers. The overall message was focused on family: A premium turkey product raised without antibiotics by family farmers available at prices affordable for the average family. For short-lead media, Crossroads used the timeliness of Thanksgiving as a supplemental hook to promote fresh turkeys. Crossroads believed it was important to share the brand position with select influencers before broadcasting it widely. The rationale: to build credibility for the message and develop relationships with brand champions who could defend against skeptical food advocates. Crossroads identified influential female bloggers within the No. 1 target segment as determined by the segmentation study whose content focused on food and family who most likely fell within the target. Crossroads developed a plan for outreach to national consumer magazines, broadcast media, and food websites, local media in priority markets and trade media.
Following the campaign, the brand said, “The U.S. turkey business enjoyed one of its best holiday seasons,” attributing the success to strong retail demand due to the availability of new turkeys raised without growth-promoting antibiotics, supported by the Crossroads campaign. Nearly 85 million impressions were earned. The president of Cargill Turkey and Cooked Meats, Ruth Kimmelshue, was also pleased with the results, and sent an email to the agency praising the campaign, stating, “This was transparency done right.”