Land O' Lakes - She-I-O

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Land O Lakes was seen as the traditional baking butter. The brand was known for quality, and was lovingly remembered as “the butter my mom and grandma used for baking.” Our previous campaign of “Add A Little Good” reinforced these perceptions, with a strong quality message and a tie to recipes that was successful in driving awareness and consideration. But with an aging loyalist base, what the brand really needed was relevance with the Millennial consumer that will be responsible for product growth in decades to come. We knew that to reach her, we couldn’t just talk to her about butter. We had to position ourselves to do good in the world.

Brand Strategy

This couldn’t have been further from the truth. In fact, Land O’Lakes is a farmer-owned co-op, run by the same dairy farmers who provide the milk for the butter. Land O’Lakes’ co-op structure allowed us to talk about co-op beliefs in a way that aligned with the beliefs of Millennials, and also differentiated us from “big food.” A co-op is the perfect example of coming together and the values it takes to achieve it — inclusion and collaboration.  

 In a world divided by our differences, Land O’Lakes believes in coming together. A call to unity was a timely message. Divisive politics had driven us to tribalism, and left people feeling more divided than ever. Coming together was a message that could fight this divisiveness. 

 Coming together to help tackle a big issue. This new positioning led to the birth of the campaign “All Together Better” that focused on the importance of coming together, and the values of inclusion and collaboration. As part of the campaign, we used our message of unity to help tackle a big problem: the average age of a farmer is 59, and few young people are coming to farming. One reason was that our vision of farming doesn’t include all people — it’s mostly seen in our culture as just older white males. The future of farming depends on the unity of all types of people. We needed to broaden our definition of what being a farmer means to be more inclusive. We focused on celebrating our female farmers.

Brand Actions

Farmers make up only 1% of the U.S. population, yet they are responsible for feeding us all. With the majority of them over the age of 58, where do you find more farmers? We wanted to encourage farming as a viable career no matter your gender. Some farmers in the U.S. are also women, but many people assume farming is a man’s job. One reason is the popular children’s song “Old MacDonald,” which features lyrics such as, “…on HIS farm, HE had a cow. E-I-E-I-O.” As a farmer-owned co-op that just named its first female CEO, Land O’Lakes wanted to change this perception. The future of the brand, American farming, and ending hunger in thousands of communities literally depends on it. We took the most iconic song about farming and changed one pronoun.

With Nashville country/soul artist Maggie Rose and Grammy-winning songwriter Liz Rose, we turned “Old MacDonald” into “SHE-I-O,” a progressive anthem for the farming industry. And set out to change the way an entire generation looks at farming and hunger in America. In partnership with Vevo and YouTube, the 2:30 SHE-I-O music video launched on Women’s Equality Day. Supporting branded content featuring Land O’Lakes’ female farmers extended SHE-I-O’s reach via teaser videos, behind-the-scenes snippets, and empowering GIFs on Hulu, Facebook and Instagram. Given a limited budget, we used interest-based targeting (e.g., Maggie Rose fans) and influencers like The Female Farmer Project to ensure we reached people most likely to engage and share. 

Results

In the first month, 100MM+ paid SHE-I-O impressions inspired 418MM+ earned impressions. The music video was viewed 1.2MM+ times, 64% longer than average music videos, and the song quickly rose to the top 20 on the iTunes rock charts.

Brand word-of-mouth increased 70% year-over-year, crushing our awareness KPI, and consideration for Land O Lakes Butter has increased 31% among Millennials since the campaign started.

All this showed that by changing one pronoun in a song we all grew up with, we could change the way an entire generation looks at farming.

 
 
“From the board room to the back forty, women can succeed in any field. #AllTogetherBetter”
— Beth Ford, Land O'Lakes CEO
Even I got choked up over The Voice!! Really. The spot was magical. And the world took notice. You all deserve a round of applause. I know people thought my initial ask was insane, but tonight was a STATEMENT for Land O’Lakes. So incredibly proud of you guys and the Dairy Foods team. Can’t say enough good things. Wow.” 
— Tim Scott, Land O’Lakes CMO