Follow The Food
By 2050 there will be 10 billion people on the planet, and they will all need something to eat. How are we going to feed the planet in a sustainable way, that doesn’t exhaust the earth’s resources?
This is the challenge that confronts Corteva Agriscience. As the only major agriscience company completely dedicated to agriculture, their challenge is to ensure that agriculture progresses and thrives, helping to move our world forward.
Becoming a stand-alone company in June 2019, by combining the strengths of DuPont Pioneer, DuPont Crop Protection and Dow AgroSciences, Corteva Agriscience wanted to launch themselves onto the world stage with a global announcement, with the aim of swiftly establishing themselves as a leader in the agriscience industry and creating a corporate brand strategy through a multi-layered partnership .
BBC StoryWorks, the creative studio from BBC Global News, applied the BBC lens to the brief, focusing on the client’s objectives and what our audiences would want to know about a sustainable food future, to create and end-to-end strategy for Corteva Agriscience.
The Creative Solution
Studies show that when something alerts us to the fact that we may not know what happens next, we are compelled to listen more carefully. The neuroscientific term for this is the ‘Zeigarnik effect’, whereby our brain pays a whole different level of attention to something that appears incomplete – or which we can’t easily complete in our own mind. And from this, the viewer or listener gains a completely new perspective and gains a new value.
Feeding an ever-growing population is one such area, and our strategy throughout was to make this campaign valuable for our audiences. We wanted to tell them everything they needed to know about how this could be achieved and what the challenges were. By harnessing agriculture’s brightest minds and expertise, we wanted to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come. How could we achieve this? Through authentic and powerful storytelling, capturing the imagination of our audiences, while reducing the information gap between field and fork.
We wanted to take our audiences on a journey, to explore whether and how technological innovation and modern agriculture can rise to this challenge. Welcome to “Follow the Food.”
Follow the Food is a unique editorial offering across BBC World News and BBC.com that followed our food from the field to fork, bringing the farmer and consumer closer together. The eight-part documentary series questioned where our food came from and how this will change in the near future, thanks to new technologies and innovative ways of farming. Each episode tackled one major food challenge, selecting several case studies from across the globe, and showcasing the progressive and exciting steps that we are taking to reset how we feed the planet – and how our modern agriculture is leading the way.
Alongside this we commissioned and created a series of eight short branded content documentaries from North America, Europe, Asia and Brazil, demonstrating how Corteva Agriscience and its partners are addressing challenges across our food system.
The Media/Content Amplification Solution
To hit Corteva Agrisciences KPl’s, the content needed to be impactful, reaching as many people as possible with a truly multi-platform, global approach, and appealing to audiences around the world, opinion leaders, business decision makers within the relevant industries, and to farmers across the United States.
BBC World News’ global distribution reaches 454 million households in more than 200 countries and territories, so Follow the Food had to be a “must see TV” series, educating our audiences about feeding the planet. Corteva Agriscience sponsored each programme, broadcast globally and promoting the company on the global stage.
A digital audience was also really important , and we had to ensure that Follow the Food sat at the heart of BBC.com, seamlessly integrated within our digital audience’s user journeys, surrounded by commercial placements and branded content promotion for Corteva Agriscience. Reaching more than 100 million monthly users on BBC.com, it was essential that Follow the Food had a unique space within our product ecosystem, within our solutions-oriented BBC Future vertical, and where broadcast and digital content could be presented in a way that provided more context for our audiences. This allowed us to hit the multi-layered partnership KPls .
BBC Reel, a new video site devoted to the BBC’s best visual storytelling also hosted the full length TV episodes, sponsored by Corteva Agriscience, allowing global audiences to go back and watch episodes at any time.
More than two thirds of the BBC.com audience consumes content on their mobile devices, so we had to ensure that our product showed the content in an accessible way. We designed the Follow the Food hub with a more tactile, thumb-friendly user interface, to support the mobile usage patterns of our audience.
Our social media channels ‘mobilised’ content and encouraged conversations around #FollowtheFood. The content was distributed through BBC Future and BBC StoryWorks social media platforms, using tailored targeting and format selections for each individual piece of content, promoting both the editorial series Corteva Agriscience were sponsoring, and the brand films we had created for them, encouraging a deeper sustained relationship between Corteva Agriscience and the audience.
Lastly, we used syndication to extend beyond the BBC audience. Follow the Food appeared on other relevant TV, in-flight and digital platforms in key target regions. All platforms showed the content with Corteva Agriscience’s sponsorship accreditation intact. A Portuguese-language version of the series was even created to serve audiences in Brazil.
In June 2019, Follow the Food was seen by 31 million viewers worldwide.
The dedicated bbc.com page had 894,923 page views and 5.6M video views across 8 weeks, with ‘Where does your food come from?’ being the second best performing article across the BBC platform, in its launch week.
The targeted social campaign generated:
- 17M impressions
- 56M clicks to the Follow The Food page and BBC Reel playlist We also received 1M video plays on the branded documentaries.
An Adscore survey, covering both TV and digital campaigns in 14 markets around the world, reported that the likelihood of recommending Corteva increased by 345% amongst BBC consumers, with uplifts across all key brand metrics (including that CA was a market leader).
To further evaluate the success of the campaign, we used BBC Global News’ award winning research programme, ‘Science of Engagement’, to measure the emotional impact on audiences, and correlating brand effect for Corteva Agriscience, of the branded documentary ‘Food by Prescription’ with Business Decision Makers in key markets. ‘Science of Engagement’ combines facial coding eye-tracking technologies with an embedded implicit association test to demonstrate the impact of the branded content.
It revealed that after watching the brand film, there were significant uplifts in subconscious association between Corteva Agriscience and key traits, Innovative (↑ 57%), Responsible (↑55%) and a Leader (↑33%). We saw a ↑63% uplift in association for Corteva Agriscience with audiences exposed to the content expressing that the company was “enriching the lives of people around the world.”
Overall, the multi-layered partnership :
- Increased Corteva Agriscience’s brand familiarity, helping to launch them as a new company
- Significantly improved Corteva Agriscience’s brand perception as prestigious and high quality, being seen as an industry leader
- The campaign’s creative strategy was successful, increasing the talkability of the brand and their perception of relevance