Celebrating farmers the focus of fresh Case IH brand work

Agricultural manufacturer's new brand campaign highlights work of Australian farmers

Celebrating Australia’s farmers and their importance nationally as well as globally lies at the heart of a new brand platform launched by agricultural manufacturer, Case IH, this month.

The new campaign, 'It's what we do', centres around a 90-second film examining the highs and lows of farming and featuring real farmers who are investing and supporting our food chain from across the country. The voiceover was done by farmer and scientist, Anika Molesworth, who was recognised as the Young Farmer of the Year in 2015 and won the NSW Young Achiever Award for Environment and Sustainability in 2017. The short film was directed by Jonathan May and created with Leo Burnett.

Case IH general manager A/NZ, Pete McCann, told CMO the 178-year old brand made a deliberate decision “not to go down the traditional path agricultural companies do” but instead create a campaign that spotlighted Australian farmers. Case IH (Case International Harvester) customers stretch from hobbyist farmers to the largest farms in A/NZ. The CNH Industrial manufacturing business has 104 locations and service centres as well as a wide dealer network.

“We have had exceptionally challenging years in four of the last five years. With this year not as challenging, it was time to celebrate agriculture and our farmers,” McCann said. “Farming is always hard – from drought to mice, locusts and fires. But it’s a resilient industry.

“This campaign is a celebration of the importance of the farmer and being a grower. We’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. In a way, we want to put the sexy back into farming. We don’t talk about the good times and I think we need to, not just focus on the bad.”  

What’s also been magnified since the onset of the Covid-19 global pandemic is the criticality of farmers and how essential their work is. Through its storytelling approach, McCann said the brand hoped to spotlight the importance of farmers and the essential service they have been providing.

“The celebration of the farming community has never been more relevant, with a productive year across the sector and Aussies demanding more transparency around their food’s origins,” McCann continued.

With many employees owning farms and tied to agriculture, the campaign also aims to reflect Case IH’s authentic knowledge and ties to the land.  

It’s been several years since Case IH has undertaken a brand-oriented campaign. McCann noted the company more recently concentrated on specific community work such as that with BlazeAid after the bushfires, helping with fencing and running the hay for livestock farmers, and in general giving back to a community hard hit by natural disasters.

“That’s been our focus in the last two to three years as we were experiencing the worst drought seen in the last 18 to 20 years. It was about helping farmers manage through,” McCann explained.

“In one way, this new campaign is about saying thank you for your support, not just of us but also our dealers. They employ a lot of people who are under a lot of stress, and they’re the meat in the sandwich and hard hit in any disaster too. It’s a thank you to them, plus our employees, and also to say better times are coming, which is where we are now. We have a very cyclic industry with highs and lows – that’s farming. Let’s celebrate when we’re in a good position.”

CNH Industrial head of marketing, Ross Purdy, said the media mix for the first storytelling phase of the campaign includes out-of-home and TVC advertising. Case IH has targeted its primary marketing areas (PMAs) where its customers and dealers are placed and is showcasing local farmers, such as those in Moree and Gympie, in OOH creative.

On TV, the brand is airing 15-second and 30-second cuts of its creative nationally via Prime, Win, NBN and regional stations, and has also been incorporated into the TV show, Farmer wants a wife.

Purdy said the full 90-second version of the campaign will also potentially be used on TV, and catchup and on-demand are again using targeted PMA informed by where customers are located and within a radius of dealerships.

“We can profile attributes of customers through location, archetype of the farmer and types of farming,” he said. “There’s also digital more for our tactical phase, where we’re looking to drive lead conversion.

“It’s important to note we’re in phase one of campaigning, which is the storytelling component. The next phase will include activations to support dealers with sales support, incorporating this into point-of-sale and merchandising. For phase three and for the rest of the year into 2022, we’ll look to incorporate some of our targeted finance offers across our different product categories.”   Commenting on her role as a farmer, Molesworth said she saw living and working in rural Australia as a true privilege.

“There’s not a day that the landscape doesn’t captivate me with its vast wonder, there’s not a day that I don’t feel honoured to work alongside farmers, who produce food and fibre for our country,” she said. “Each day we rise to our challenges, are grateful for our opportunities, and strive to make tomorrow the best it possibly can be.” McCann has also worked in agriculture over his entire career and comes from a family farm.

“This is something I have wanted to do for many years at Case IH,” he added. “This campaign is as much of a story of farming, the challenges and triumphs, as it is about Case IH and the work we do.”

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