Time may have declared The Protester the person of the year, but in the food advertising world, that title would likely go to The Farmer. Earlier this year, Perdue's new TV spots allowed viewers to go "behind the scenes" of Perdue farms. Monsanto started a print campaign featuring slightly weatherbeaten farmers.
Now, McDonald's is getting into the farmer-ad action. On January 2, McDonald's will debut a new ad campaign that focuses on showing customers where their food comes from.
On Wednesday, chief marketing officer Neil Golden tweeted on the McDListenTour handle, "1 thing we're doing is tellng our farm 2 fork story abt our food.Ads debut in Jan but here's a sneak peek! http://bit.ly/uP7EZO #McDChanging." The ad, shown below, features a potato farmer biting into a raw potato, declaring, "They're good now. Just wait until they're McDonald's fries." Future ads include suppliers of lettuce and beef. Ad Age refers to these individuals as "secondary suppliers." "McDonald's works directly with 250 suppliers, including Cargill, Lopez Foods, Golden State Foods, Simplot, Lamb Weston and Coca-Cola," Ad Age explains.
In a similar vein, Wendy's tagline, "You know when it's real," also focuses on "true" ingredients, according to Nation's Restaurant News. This relationship between sourcing and taste can also be seen in Burger King's new ad strategies, which focuses more on freshness. Red Lobster's focus on "real fisherman" also tries to extend the connection between what you eat, and who helped put it on your plate.
The big question, now, is whether these ads actually have an effect. And if they are telling the truth. After all, who wouldn't trust a farmer that eats a raw potato?