Idaho Potato Commission Wins 5th Consecutive Retail Marketing Honors from Produce Business

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Comic book-themed ad campaign continues to boost awareness, response among trade

EAGLE, Idaho, September 28, 2012—Batman and the Avengers may rule the summer popcorn movie scene, but the Idaho Potato Commission’s (IPC) Fearless Field Force superheros reigned once again in the annual Produce Business Marketing Excellence Awards.

The IPC’s comic book-themed, integrated retail trade marketing campaign received its fifth consecutive Marketing Excellence Award in the 2012 competition. Running from September 2011 through August 2012, the IPC campaign featured the four members of the Fearless Field Force—IPC retail promotion directors Bill Savilonis, Ken Tubman, Larry Whiteside and Kent Beesley—as modern-day cartoon superheroes with profit-boosting powers, offering heroic yet practical solutions for retailers everywhere.

Pint glass sets serve up a toast to each Field Force

Pint glass sets serve up a toast to each Field Force "superhero."

Eight different full-page ads appeared in retail trade publications and also were combined into a comic book; in addition, five of the eight ads came to life in animated videos housed on the IPC’s YouTube page. To keep Idaho® potatoes top of mind with retailers every day, the IPC also delivered pint glass sets depicting each member of the Fearless Field Force, along with a personalized letter highlighting the exploits of each recipient’s personal protector of potato profits. (Larry Whiteside had retired by the time of this promotion and was not pictured on a glass.)

“This campaign has proven to be a tremendous success and is the most high-impact retail campaign in the IPC’s 75-year history,” said Seth Pemsler, vice president, Retail/International, IPC. “Our mission is to get our message directly to retailers in a fun, compelling way, and the comic book theme has definitely accomplished that goal. We’ve had many, many positive responses from produce managers, senior category managers and retail advertising/marketing managers.”

In addition to the retail marketing award, the IPC also brought home Produce Business Marketing Excellence Awards for its foodservice and consumer campaigns. The ongoing IPC ad series in foodservice trade magazines features creative new Idaho® potato dishes developed by renowned chefs, while the IPC’s sponsorship of the Famous Idaho® Potato Bowl in December 2011 generated positive and consistent national media coverage during a five-month period.

From left: Don Odiorne, vice president, Foodservice, IPC; Seth Pemsler, vice president, Retail/International, IPC; and Frank Muir, president and CEO, IPC; accepted Produce Business Marketing Excellence Awards from Eric Nieman, associate publisher of Produce Business.From left: Don Odiorne, vice president, Foodservice, IPC; Seth Pemsler, vice president, Retail/International, IPC; and Frank Muir, president and CEO, IPC; accepted Produce Business Marketing Excellence Awards from Eric Nieman, associate publisher of Produce Business.

Pint glass sets serve up a toast to each Field Force "superhero."

Other IPC retailer support materials that promote the Idaho® potato brand include Potato Retailing Today, an eight-page quarterly section in Progressive Grocer, along with an exclusive Idaho edition of The Produce News, a national television advertising campaign, and innovative bin promotions.

About the Idaho Potato Commission
Established in 1937, the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) is a state agency that is responsible for promoting and protecting the famous “Grown in Idaho®” seal, a federally registered trademark that assures consumers they are purchasing genuine, top-quality Idaho® potatoes. Idaho’s ideal growing conditions, including rich, volcanic soil, climate and irrigation, differentiate Idaho® potatoes from potatoes grown in other states. For more information, visit www.idahopotato.com.
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