Diverse approaches in store for 2017 Wisconsin spud promotions
The 2017 promotional program of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association is taking a variety of approaches. Dana Rady, director of promotion and consumer education for the association, described the various components of the effort.
The promotion includes a Wisconsin potato display contest, tying in health with an NHL player from Wisconsin, a television grilling show episode and a children’s health promotion.
A television advertising campaign ran during the Green Bay Packers’ preseason broadcasts. The commercials involved Joe Pavelski, a hockey player for the San Jose Sharks, who is a native of Plover, WI. The ad, which targeted Wisconsin’s buy local market, showcased how “Potatoes Power Performance” through complex carbohydrates, high levels of vitamins and minerals and their heart-healthy attributes.
Still photographs of Pavelski are being used on point-of-purchase materials, posters for retail stores and pull-up banners to use at trade shows.
“All in all, the project went very well and has been garnering positive responses from the community,” said Rady.
In October, WPVGA is conducting its second annual Wisconsin potato display contest. Rady said the grand prize is a 2016 Cub Cadet UTV decked out in the Powered by Wisconsin Potatoes logo.
In another promotion, “We are once again working with the grilling duo, Mad Dog and Merrill,” said Rady. The television stars produce “a show specializing in unique ways to grill a variety of foods to create amazing and delicious meals.
“Given Mad Dog and Merrill’s reach with their episode and following, Wisconsin potatoes are at the forefront.”
WPVGA sponsored the show, and an episode is being devoted specifically to Wisconsin potatoes.
Rady said, “Working with ‘Kids from Wisconsin’ is a new venture for WPVGA this year. Kids from Wisconsin is a group that takes men and women ages 15 to 20 with gifted abilities in musical performance and gives them the opportunity to provide professionally trained performances to audiences throughout the Midwest during the summer.”
The young performers say, “Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Potatoes” during each performance and produced a Wisconsin potatoes jingle for WPVGA use.
Rady said, “Wisconsin’s traveling billboard, also known as the Spudmobile, continues to be our largest and most valuable assets on the road. The vehicle continues to operate year round with a full-time and part-time driver on board, averaging 100 events per year. We are in awe at the number of new and returning event requests we have each year for the Spudmobile and are truly humbled at the number of people who come through at each event to learn more about the Wisconsin potato industry.”
WPVGA, which is based in Antigo, WI, continues to work with registered dietician Sarah Agena, who is beginning her second year as a contracted employee of the Wisconsin potato industry. Agena assists with sharing potato nutrition-related information on social media, conducting samplings in retail stores, attending Spudmobile-related events and speaking with consumers about the benefits of eating potatoes and attending various tradeshows to do the same.