Mullen Campaign Makes Plea for Farm Aid

Mullen pulls no punches in a hard-hitting, emotional appeal for Farm Aid, the national non profit organization that provides assistance to family-run farms.

Up coming radio executions portray politicians as apathetic, bank ers as un sym pathetic and grain buyers as heartless in an effort to educate listeners about the plight facing family farmers in the current economy. The spots also challenge the federal government to support fam ily farms.

The campaign is timed to coincide with debate in the U.S. Senate over legislation that could over haul many aspects of the agriculture and farming industry.

A trio of 30-second spots from the Wenham, Mass., agency will air this month on Westwood One stations nationwide. Radio was chosen for the pro-bono effort be cause of its relatively low production cost and ability to reach highly targeted audiences.

One spot opens with a voice saying, “This is a sheep,” followed by a sheep “baah-ing.” The narrator then says, “This is a cow.” A loud “moo” follows. The voice continues, “This is a politician,” and a not-so-sincere voice says, “I know we’re losing family farms, and I’d love to help. I really would. But it’s large corporations, not small farms, that have the clout. It’s not personal, it’s just politics.”

Another spot opens with horse and rooster noises and a voiceover saying, “The grain buyer says …” The buyer then laments, “That’s all we’re paying for your crop, take it or leave it. … We control the market, my friend, and that’s that.”

The third commercial features similar animal sounds and a banker telling a farmer that he “has no choice” but to foreclose the farm and sell the land.

“The strategy behind the campaign is to grab people’s attention by shaking up their idyllic image of family farming,” said Mullen creative director Jim Garaventi, who oversaw the campaign.

All spots close with a voiceover encouraging listeners to contribute to Farm Aid by calling the organization’s toll-free number or visiting its Web site.