How Funny Ads Help a Pesticide Group’s Campaign Break Through

CropLife America, an industry group focused on the use of pesticides in agriculture, has helped raise its message to a broader audience with the help of a goofy online video campaign starring a guy dressed as an annoying bug.

Need a laugh? A trade association’s marketing campaign about the need for pesticides in agriculture might do the trick.

CropLife America, which represents pesticide makers and distributors, has raised eyebrows with “Give a Crop.” The video-driven effort aims to draw attention to the problem of pests and the devastation they can create for crops if not properly managed.

That’s great, of course, but what really stands out are the ads, which offer up a kind of surrealistic humor not usually associated with pesticides. (Think Mr. Show or Wet Hot American Summer, and you’re on the right track.) Starring an actor dressed up as an annoying bug, the video clips, and there are many, borrow some of the best cues of sketch comedy as they make their point about bug problems.

In recent comments to California Ag Today, CropLife America Communications Manager Sarah Macedo noted that the clips, produced on a tight budget and distributed via social media, have proven successful in reaching their target audience.

“We had a lot of the FFA kids who absolutely love them, which is great since that is our target audience; we do know that they are sharing that with their friends who are in the on-ag space,” she told the outlet.

But there is a deeper message behind the jokes driving the clips, which aim to educate and have a basis in scientific research. This aspect of the work, beyond showing up in the videos, is featured on a section of the site called Myth vs. Fact, which highlights the issues farmers face, while trying to separate out the truth from the talking points.

Macedo added that the clips have proven so successful that even critics of the organization’s mission have shared them.

“They’ll watch one, and they’ll have posted [with a note] saying, ‘we may not necessarily agree, but these are funny and to the point,’” Macedo explained to California Ag Today.

(CropLife America)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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