Octopus Group won the Grand Prix at The Drum B2B Marketing Awards 2019 for its Tinder-inspired ‘Tudder’ campaign for Hectare Agritech. In this case study, the agency reveals the challenges faced and the strategies used to deliver this successful project.
Hectare Agritech is a fast-growing startup focused on transforming the way farmers buy, sell and pay for their produce. Its SellMyLivestock platform allows users to find and trade breeding animals, such as cattle and sheep, online. By using data and technology, farmers are able to reduce personal cost and emissions spent traveling physical distance. They’re also better able to track and monitor livestock breeding patterns, ensuring that gene pools remain healthy.
Hectare wanted to encourage farming businesses to trade livestock online, while growing subscribers to its own platform. The campaign would also gauge international appetite for online livestock trading in key markets such as the US, Europe and Australia. Finally, the client wanted to demonstrate to the wider public that, contrary to popular opinion, technology and intelligent data use is crucial to modern-day farming.
The campaign needed to speak to farming businesses, both in the UK and in targeted international markets. Farms represent an important and extremely diverse part of the UK SME landscape. They are often family centric and are under a lot of pressure. But Hectare wanted to communicate that farming can and should be a profitable business, and to position online livestock trading as a step towards a profitable farming industry.
Budget was limited (£22.5K) so a media campaign incorporating organic social was deemed a good way to reach key media titles, while influencing the wider public around agritech issues and creating brand awareness for the business.
Farmers like a laugh, as long as it’s not at their expense. So we knew, if we pitched it right, a funny and good-natured campaign would go down well.
We developed an app called Tudder with a Valentine’s Day-focused PR and social campaign. The simple dating app (for cattle) worked liked Tinder, with farmers swiping left or right on the profiles of cows and bulls. A match resulted in an amorous, mooing sound effect. The profile then led the curious party to the SellMyLivestock platform, where they could find more information.
We wanted to put livestock love on the media agenda. The app launch was propelled by an extensive and ambitious media strategy that included tailored Valentine’s cards mailed to key journalists, as well as targeted, exclusive briefings with media contacts, and a multifaceted social media campaign.
Briefings were backed up with a creative set of assets for media outlets to use in coverage, including light-hearted farm and livestock photography, app stills and a funny campaign video we created on a shoestring.
We put forward farmers who we knew would interview well and carried out interviews on their farms. In the interviews, farmers addressed serious issues around agriculture, the wellbeing of their peers, and technology usage. The campaign was fun, but there was a serious message behind it which we wanted to communicate by putting farmers at the centre of the campaign.
We must have hit the right note with farmers, because Tudder became one of the most successful campaigns of the past few years. A month-long programme of proactive media engagement generated huge awareness, direct engagement with the campaign app, and led to a dramatic increase in subscribers to the SellMyLivestock platform (a 58% increase compared with the previous six-months).
The campaign took off, enjoying global attention across major public and commercial news outlets, from the BBC and The Guardian to Reuters and the New York Post. Tudder received widespread coverage on international news channels, including FOX24 News, France 24, CNN, Russia Today, Spanish broadcaster Antena 3 Noticias, and China’s TomoNews.
Rare for B2B campaigns, Tudder also caught the attention of pop-culture news, particularly in the US, where it featured on James Corden’s The Late Late Show, Late Night with Seth Meyers and Conan. The humour of the campaign was a huge factor in its success, with the media particularly enjoying, and running away with, our a-moo-sing puns.
Away from the mainstream news ‘punathon’ that followed the launch, the story also resonated with well-respected industry titles such as Beef Magazine (US), Farmers Weekly (UK) and RFD-TV (US). This meant that news of the platform and the wider messaging around the campaign reached the core farming audience, leading to a huge increase in traffic and sign-ups to SellMyLivestock:
• 1,037 global print media mentions.
• 30+ global broadcast segments.
• 1.3bn print media reach.
• 5,600 social media mentions.
• 157m Twitter reach and 385m impressions.
• 18,000+ downloads across Apple and Google app stores.
• Tudder ranked among top 10 business apps during launch week.
• 30% uplift in SellMyLivestock traffic during the coverage.
• 58% increase in new user registrations compared with the previous six-month average.
The campaign also brought Hectare to those all-important overseas markets. Contacts were made with investors and potential partners in the UK, US, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, France and New Zealand.
Hectare chief executive officer, Doug Bairner, said: “We were overwhelmed by the results of the Tudder campaign. The incredible media coverage led to an unprecedented increase in new registrations to the SellMyLivestock platform, and put us at the centre of the agritech conversation with both media and investors. The campaign has also opened doors for us in strategic locations, such as the US and continental Europe, which we're continuing to explore and expand on now.”
This campaign was the Grand Prix winner at The Drum B2B Awards 2019. If you think you can scoop the prize next year, register your interest in next 2020's awards.