Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ikea is getting a taste of bad publicity

When you go to the grocery store or a restaurant, you have a certain level of expectations for your eating experience. Unfortunately, one company has not lived up to their brand standards.

IKEA is an international furniture company that also has restaurants within their stores. One of the products that is most desired in these restaurants is the Swedish meatballs. These meatballs are said to be made with pork and beef. However, the company has recently been exposed for not following through with their product labeling.

In many news outlets, IKEA has been said to have used horse meat in their meatball recipe in Europe. The traces were found after a recent incident with the large European food company, Nestles. This has caused an increase in monitoring meat production throughout the region. IKEA was one of the most recent reports of using horse meat. Please note, there have been no traces of horse meat in the U.S. IKEA restaurants. (Wall Street Journal)

After this release, the company attempted to conduct damage control with a short press release found here. However, that did not stop the flow of social media disgust. Many people on Twitter shared their thoughts and distaste of the company because of this scandal.

I do not think IKEA has taken the proper risk management to overcome this obstacle. From a food company standpoint, they took the products off of the market. However, they did not reach out to the media sources as well as they could have. I also think this could bring up an interesting discussion about the use of different meat products in food products.

What are your thoughts on this current event? How do you feel IKEA handled or should have handled this situation?

Also, do you think this increased use of horse meat in the United Kingdom will have any effect on the U.S.?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tweet What You Eat

You always hear "you are what you eat". However, it can be even more fun to tweet what you eat!

Each week, the AgChat Foundation hosts a tweet chat on Twitter to connect producers and consumers about topics concerning food and farming. These conversations are focused on specific topics brought up by followers each week and then posted as 'questions' to entice discussion.

On the third Tuesday of each month, #foodchat is conducted from 8-10 p.m. These events are steered toward health and wellness and bring in a more diverse crowd of consumers. I participated in one of these discussions this past Tuesday. The discussion topic this past week was focused on heart health and had a variety of topic questions from specific types of food that people consider heart healthy and good recipes to ways to relieve stress on the farm and how producers should better promote how these food options are healthy.

Not only was I engaged in the conversation because of the agricultural discussion, but because I enjoyed discussing different topics relating to health and wellness.

I think the AgChat Foundation does a good job of advocating for the agricultural industry using social media engagement. However, they must find new ways to draw in different consumer groups and attain their interest for topics that may not directly relate to agriculture. I think from my conversations on food chat, it is easier to connect on common topics like health and wellness initially, then transition into how these relate to agriculture.

Have you ever participated in these Twitter discussions before? What do you think is most effective?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pork promotional video: Shows potential or stuck in a rut?

As an agricultural advocate, it is my job to find new methods to share with consumers the practices and methods used in today's technology-savvy world. With this objective, many commodity groups and organizations are striving to enhance their efforts to promote the industry to society with increased use of social media and videography. One group recently released a video to do just that.

The Ohio Pork Producers Council published a Youtube video on Feb. 11 to depict how hogs are raised and provide different retail products we typically eat. The video titled, "Pork from Farm to Fork: Where'd Ya Get That Pork?", brings an animated side to farming.

Watching this video objectively, I see positives and areas of improvement to its effectiveness (these are my personal opinions). 

  • The video is fun and presents a down-to-earth feel with the music and cartoon images.
  • It places an emphasis on current trends in agriculture. This is show with the modern style of housing for the hogs.
  • It is concise and to the point in explaining hog production.
Areas of Improvement:
  • Who is the target audience? This seems unclear. The video appears more sophomoric in its presentation.
  • Was the selection of music the best way to present current trends in agriculture? The idea of using a version of "Old McDonald" could make the audience think of traditional livestock production methods while this video is promoting the new age in raising animals.
  • Including real-life examples of hog farmers that are represented could strengthen the end of the video.
From the standpoint of a general consumer, I feel this video could be improved to better identify hog farming as a reputable career and livelihood of the farming families. It is important to share our stories in the industry and we must find the right techniques to do it successfully.

What are your thoughts on this video? Do you like the presentation of the information or do you feel it could be improved upon? Help me start a discussion about this video or others found in the agricultural industry.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Advocating at Ag Day at the Capital

This spring, I am interning with Ohio Farm Bureau in their public policy department. For this position, I have been able to focus on some event planning projects in the area of agricultural policy.

On Tuesday, we hosted our first event of the year, Ag Day at the Capital. Ag Day at the Capital is an annual event that focuses on bringing farm bureau members to Columbus to learn about updates in policy and regulations that relate to the agricultural industry. These agriculturalists have the opportunity to meet with legislatures during a luncheon and also schedule individual meetings with their congressional districts to discuss pertinent policy topics for their local areas.

I assisted with the pre-event planning and logistics and worked with legislatures and farm bureau employees to help the event come together. During the day, I had a few minor responsibilities like assisting with check-in and seating legislatures in the Statehouse atrium for a luncheon. Because I did not have many ‘big’ tasks, I was able to do one thing I love: tweet.

Twitter has become one of my main resources of information and favorite ways to communicate with people! Not only does it allow me to enhance my creativity by stopping me from using over 140 characters, but I can also follow events and people in a timely way.

For Ag Day, Ohio Farm Bureau created a Storify account to piece together all of the details from the event in a fun, technological way. This helped guests and others who were unable to attend see some of the event from a unique perspective. To the right is the Storify story that was created for Ag Day.

You can visit the farm bureau Storify and see more tweets and posts from Ag Day.

I think the use of a Storify was a very innovative action for farm bureau to take. Not only is it unique, but also it is an easy way to piece together all of the thoughts and activities that were shared during Ag Day. If other companies and organizations begin to implement the use of platforms like Storify, it could help them standout in the public relations realm.

How do you think farm bureau did in their PR for Ag Day? What are your thoughts on Storify and other similar technologies?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

This advertising is not by 'chance'

This weekend, I went on a shopping trip with one of my friends. I love shopping, but what I love even more is comparing the different marketing campaigns these companies use in their displays and store layouts.

After taking my graphic design classes, I am better able to interpret what type of feel and approach these organization are portraying. One company who I feel excels in their marketing approach is Tacori

Tacori is a jewelry brand I first saw on QVC while in high school. Now, all I dream about is filling my jewelry box with their beautiful gems and statement pieces. When stopping by and browsing their jewelry in the mall, it is easy to pinpoint the Tacori display – it is all in a royal blue case. I think their branding is outstanding. Not only do they have consistency in their design concepts, but they also showcase the quality of their products in a variety of campaigns.

Most recently, Tacori created a video depicting a story of love by chance. The video called Par Chance has a variety of Tacori jewelry worn by the actress while telling her love story. Below is the trailer of the video, but I highly encourage viewing the full-length film here (it is only 3:36 long).

Not only do I find this video captivating because I enjoy romance, but I thought it was creative how Tacori used some of their current advertising campaigns within the video. One of my favorites they are currently using for their 18k925 Fine Jewelry Collection is the martini glass ad, “Pour on the Glamour”.

If you notice within the video, while they are at the restaurant, she places her necklace into his martini glass and he proceeds to drink from it anyway.

One of my favorite ads for their engagement rings is the chess ad, “Checkmate”. I found their approach very unique in symbolizing the journey to love. 

The video also includes a game of chess, where the female wins the game against her pursuer. This clip also symbolizes how love is a process and in the video, the actor is given clues to finding this mysterious woman he is wooing.

Here are more of Tacori's advertising campaigns.

Can you find any more similarities between their current campaigns and the video?

Overall, I found this video very effective and cohesive to the marketing scheme Tacori has been using for virtual and print media. Even though it may be a while before I can have my first piece of Tacori jewelry, their advertising is very enticing and pleasing for me.

What do you think of their campaigns and in particular, the video they released? Are there any other jewelry brands you feel are effective in their campaigns with video usage?