The Canadian Wheat Board Goes Retro

Well, you could argue that it’d be more accurate to say “The Canadian Wheat Board’s marketing strategy shows outdated and out-of-touch thinking,” but it’s a bit soon. Sometimes retro in marketing can work. Think Doritos chips. Or the BMW Mini.

What we’re discussing is this ad campaign, as described in The Globe and Mail:

“We wanted something that stood out, something that caught people’s attention and got people talking. And we got that,” said [CWB chief strategy officer Dayna Spring], adding the executive team approved it.

The advertising itself is urging farmers to sign up for the CWB’s winter pool, where crops from last year’s harvest are pooled together and sold by the CWB on farmers’ behalf.

You can find the full display of the ad here. I wouldn’t really call it overtly sexual, and it’s definitely attention-grabbing. I just wonder if it’s really appropriate for the target audience. We’re talking about farmers trying to unload their harvest, wondering where they can get the most cash from, and last time I checked not all farmers were male, amused by irony and thinking of their livelihood as a “lifestyle”. Which is pretty much what this ad is saying.

I’d suggest, though, that if this represents the thinking of the CWB executives’ mindset, then Ottawa was right to end their monopoly. Not because the ad is sexist (it isn’t, really), but because it misunderstands what they think a farmer wants from their marketer. Which is what happens when you get rusty at, well, marketing yourself.

Did you like this? Share it:

About PhantomObserver

I'm an information specialist / animation artist living and working in Ottawa.
This entry was posted in Federal Government, Odds & Ends, Off the Wire and Off the Wall. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Canadian Wheat Board Goes Retro

  1. Bubba Brown says:

    “Sexist”? I don’t know about that. Somewhat dated and stupid? probably.
    The Wheat Board has no sense of irony IMO.
    After being “rode outa Dodge on a rail” they put a young lady on one.
    We can get you a better price? No, just some ad exec’s wet dream, sorta like “New Coke,” “improved” and other such drivel, are talking gophers far away?
    The cute little curmudgens could tell all those stupid old farmers how cool it is to use the CWB.
    That the farmers’ money goes to pay for this stupidity is not I think lost on the farmers.
    Liberal stupidity.
    Cheers Bubba

Comments are closed.