Land O’Lakes wants younger consumers to know that it’s more than just a butter brand.
The company—a farmer-owned agricultural cooperative—made its SXSW debut in Austin this year with “The Food Effect,” an activation that dives into a dialogue of how people grow their food.
Since Land O’Lakes skews more toward older consumers with its different lines of businesses and sub-brands, the company wanted to set the stage at SXSW to speak directly to a younger audience with its experiences, said Kim Olson, chief communications officer at Land O’Lakes. She noted that they doubled the amount of attendees they were originally expecting.
The four-day experience took place during Interactive and featured a variety of exhibits illustrating challenges and innovations related with food production. The goal of the marketing activation was to engage a new group of consumers by addressing issues around food security and ultimately identifying solutions.
“We’re interested in an open and honest conversation about agriculture and technology, and we understand that our brand can have a role in the space,” Olson told AListDaily. “We want to make fewer yet bigger marketing efforts, and SXSW is a great place to start those conversations. It was the right time for us.”
Attendees entering the expansive space in downtown Austin were greeted with “Insecure Lines,” an experience that invites people to pick up a phone and listen to the voices of those who are struggling with hunger. Each time a story was heard, a meal was donated. By Monday afternoon, a digital overhead counter displayed that over 5,000 people had gone through the experience.
The space also offered a virtual reality experience that took place inside of a lettuce head suspended in the air, demonstrating innovative farming techniques, a station with a DNA strand that illustrated the potential of science to feed more people and an art demonstration that mapped farm fields with satellite imagery.
The company also partnered with National Geographic for panel discussions to bring different viewpoints to its dialogue and marketing agenda.
According to Olson, the brand effectively reached the younger demographic of consumers it was marketing to both in the space at SXSW and on different online channels, with 18 percent engagement across all of their used social media platforms.
“It’s our first foray into experiential marketing at SXSW, and the initial results have been great,” she said.
The Minneapolis-based company also had an experiential marketing activation during the Super Bowl in Minnesota last month with the Farm Bowl, a farm-themed competition course designed to inspire the next generation of consumers about agriculture.