CL Unveils Tractor Supply Campaign

CHICAGO Carmichael Lynch uses toy figurines to embody the plainspoken, can-do spirit of Tractor Supply Company’s customers in a new campaign rolling out in April.

The seven television spots, which began breaking in late March, will run on cable venues such as Discovery, Outdoor Life Network, Weather Channel, CNN and Fox News, as well as spot television in major markets.

The TV commercials take a wry tone, supplying voices to the figurines in amusing scenarios. In one spot, a man tells his neighbor about his wife’s desire to have a koi pond in their backyard. “Koi. Japanese carp. Look like big, goldfish,” he explains. After a long pause, the neighbor only offers a short sympathy, “Sweet fancy Moses.”

Other spots show the figurines taking phone calls from concerned neighbors because the grass has gotten too long and admiring a “large” rabbit that’s shown in actual proportion to the figurines.

The tagline remains, “The stuff you need out here.”

“My challenge to the team was to do something more unique and ownable,” said Peter McHugh, chief creative officer at the Minneapolis shop. “What they came up with was something that was more attitudinally more like what TSC’s clientele were like. … And we saved a lot on talent.”

The company’s previous advertising from the Interpublic Group shop depicted actual employees of the store doing various tasks. One spot showed Jack Nevill, a store manager in Temple, Texas, and employees grooming a horse for a “hot date.” Another spot showed an employee dodging a charging bull to show off a lawn tractor’s maneuverability.

Located in rural communities and outlying areas of large cities, TSC targets both farmers and full-time residents of those regions, as well as urban weekenders who might own property in the country. The company owns and operates nearly 600 stores in 34 states.

Spending on the new effort was not disclosed. TSC spent nearly $20 million on advertising last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

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