According to Statista, in 2023 advertisers were paying an average of US$7m to air a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl. Of course, the final play-off game of the US National Football League is more than a sporting event – its half-time show sees some of music’s biggest stars perform live, and the event is usually the year’s most-watched broadcast. This year, the Super Bowl attracted an audience of more than 113m viewers, making it the third most-watched TV program in the history of the US.
For Land O’Lakes, it was an opportunity to raise the profile of its farmer owners. “This is not a big TV commercial for the big game,” the ad’s voiceover says. “No, this is not a farmer. This is stock footage of a person pretending to be a farmer. Land O’Lakes farmers are too busy to be in a commercial. Busy puttin’ food on the table – your table.”
Created in partnership with LA-based agency Battery and part of Land O’Lakes Eat It Like You Own It campaign, the 52-second ad was the co-op’s first ever Super Bowl commercial. “The co-op felt it was time to let the people know the real reason why fans won’t see them on TV during the Super Bowl Sunday,” a spokesperson for Land O’Lakes told us. “After all, Land O’Lakes’ farmer-owners are the ones behind all the game-day food faves.”
While the commercial is light-hearted, it serves a stark reminder to consumers on the role of farmers in the food supply chain, all while conveying that one of the major US dairy brands is also a major part of the big day.
“The Super Bowl is as American as it gets, starting with the food – and Land O’Lakes has been showing up on tables since the very first big game. However, the co-op farmer-owners are simply too focused on bringing the best and highest quality product to consumers, that a big flashy broadcast campaign simply isn’t on their minds. Dubbed ‘Not a Big Ad’, the campaign shines a light on Land O’Lakes farmers, who are too busy to be in a commercial.”
Raising the profile of farmers may seem like the obvious thing to do from a promotional perspective for the co-op, but Land O’Lakes says it’s a decision based on research into the public perception of farming.
Last October, Land O’Lakes published data from a survey1 among 1,000 US adults, which revealed major misconceptions about the state of farming – for example, around 59% of respondents had said they didn’t know that farmers made up less than 1% of the workforce feeding Americans.
Meanwhile, more than half (54%) of those surveyed thought that ‘large businesses’ were responsible for the majority of food production, revealing that many consumers didn’t know that 98% of US farms are family-owned and operated.
According to the USDA, small family farms operate almost half of the US farmland, and 44% of the value of US farm production occurs on large-scale family farms2.
“Land O'Lakes, Inc. has long aimed to put farmers at the forefront to raise awareness of the critical role they play in society,” the co-op’s spokesperson said. “In fact, they are responsible for solving how we’ll sustainably feed a US population of 450m by 2050. This ad is another building block to our existing promotional campaign and has helped continue raising awareness that buying Land O’Lakes products directly benefits over 1,000 Land O'Lakes farmer-owners. It’s thanks to these hard-working farmer-owners that some of the most delicious foods accompany the big game each year.”
- State of the American Farmer
Published October 2022
- America’s Diverse Family Farms, 2020 Edition