Direct the Pest Contest

A political ad featuring an insect running for office. A Family Feud-inspired game show pitting Team Pests against Team Crops. A PSA featuring a scheming bug that disguises himself as an apple to go on dates with other produce using a produce dating app. Yeah. Sometimes the best ideas are not our own! We were laughing out loud to continue our partnership with CropLife America and its ongoing #GiveaCrop campaign. This year, we called on the masses to submit their best commercial ideas becoming a case study in crowd-sourcing your next crowd-pleasing campaign.

Agvocating Since 2016

The #GiveaCrop campaign has remained one of CropLife America’s most visible awareness tools, colorfully using unconventional humor to grab the attention of consumers and policy-makers. And, over the years, the initiative has pivoted to not just talk about crop protection, but also activate new crop protectors. But how do you bring these “agvocates” into the fold?

If You Build it, They Will Built it, Too

Inspired by the “Made the Johnsonville Way” staffer-created ads, we called upon CropLife America's agvocate companies and employees with a contest announcement video featuring the #GiveaCrop Pest mascot himself. We wanted the video to be be informative, but also capture the iconic tone of #GiveaCrop for those less familiar with the oddball campaign. With the promise of a walk-on role in front of and / or behind the camera and a trip to Florida for the big debut, agvocates submitted their best, brightest and most bonkers ideas.

Agvocates Got Talent

A top-secret panel of jurors reviewed the concept submissions, which included written briefs, storyboards and even full-blown scripts! Each entry carried with it its own distinct charm and fresh angle to the existing campaign. Ultimately, four lucky winners were selected for their creativity and passion for giving a crop. Justin refined the concepts to light-heartedly touch upon timely themes, including the use of technology on farms and the upcoming mid-term elections.

Building a Pest-Filled World

The winning ideas called for us to expand the pest world in major ways. “The Pest” now runs for office! He has a wife! And kids! And a cell phone!! Dylan scouted and secured new locations while casting new faces (and some returning ones for the campaign’s diehard fans). Tiffany designed new costumes for farmers, crops, bugs and bugs that dress like crops. Favata returned to direct each episode with Jun, Phil and De’von rotating as DP.

Franchising Pests

During each shoot, the commercial creators were brought in to observe, consult or even guest-star in their own masterpiece. Justin, Jun and Anthony cut together the new series, which premiered at the CLA and RISE 2018 Annual Meeting before being released online. While outsourcing your marketing ideas to outsiders sounds like it could be a big hornet’s nest, it could actually be the bee’s knees! If done right, you may find yourself with a bigger fanbase, better ideas and a new perspective on your own mission.