retail news in context, analysis with attitude


by Kevin Coupe

Something I didn’t know: One-third of American farmers are women.

I only know this because I saw a Land O’Lakes commercial the other day that also has been turned into a music video available on YouTube (you can watch it at left).

It is called “She-I-O”, and it is an updated version of “Old MacDonald Had a Farm,” sung by country artist Maggie Rose and written by Liz Rose. It is a celebratory anthem about how women are contributing to an age-old industry, and for those of us whose knowledge of dairy farming consists of knowing one of the cow from another, it is revelatory.

The Advertising Age story about the song and Land O’Lakes ad campaign makes the point that the people portrayed in it are the actual farmers who are members of the Land O’Lakes cooperative; during the shoot, when the cameras were not running, they continued with their regular work.

Ad Week makes the point that it just recently that Land O’Lakes appointed Beth Ford as its new CEO, “where she makes history as the first openly gay woman to sit at the helm of a Fortune 500 company.” The Martin Agency, which conceived and executed the campaign, also is a female-led agency.

What I really like about this video and the campaign it reflects is that it simple reeks of authenticity. Next time I see Land O’Lakes products in the store, not only will I know something about the brand that I didn’t know before, but it honestly makes me more likely to choose its products. (I like making informed purchases in this way. We subscribe to and drink City Girl Coffee at home because a) it is a women-led company, and b) they use some of their profits to benefit women-owned coffee plantations. Makes that morning coffee taste a little better, I think.)

Not that there is anything wrong with male farmers, but this campaign makes an important point about empowerment, simply and entertainingly. It teaches men something and maybe just as important, it communicates something vital to our daughters and wives and sisters and mothers at the same time.

It never is a bad time to make that point, though I’m feeling at the moment that this happens to be a really good time.

And I thought it was an Eye-Opener.


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