ADM Seeks to Expand Image

Archer Daniels Midland Co., longtime “supermarket to the world,” hopes to broaden its image in a new campaign from FCB.

“We’re trying to send the message that ADM is not just a feeder to the world. It’s also trying to solve energy, science and health [questions] by finding the answers in nature,” said Mike Leary, FCB svp and director of broadcast production.

Tagged “The nature of what’s to come,” the surrealistic TV spots, with layered animation, hand-drawn illustration and type, broke last week. Print ads portray ADM in an altruistic light. “Nature has answers. Is anyone listening?” is a line heard and seen in the ads. TV spots are backed by the song “Kiss the Rain” by Billie Myers, highlighting the lyric, “Hello, can you hear me?”

“We wanted to make a more compelling audio and visual statement, particularly among corporate image ads,” Leary explained.

FCB won the Decatur, Ill.-based company’s $30-40 million account last summer following a review. ADM formerly used Jones & Thomas in Decatur as its agency, but the company also worked with several shops on a project basis.

In recent years, ADM’s reputation has been tarnished by a federal price-fixing case that involved top executives. The company, long known for wielding political influence, has traditionally run its ads during the Sunday-morning news programs.