Danish Agriculture and Food Council.

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The future is not as dark
as it has been.

How do you get a industry body to invest 60 million kroner over three years? What do you get for that kind of money and is there a return on investment? These are all good questions and when it comes to Danish Agriculture and Food, they’re all answered.

Background
The Danish Agriculture and Food Council was born in 2009, following the fusion of several independent industry bodies representing agriculture and food production.

The challenge
The newly formed organisation quickly identified the industry’s reputation as one of the main challenges. In the aftermath of many years of bad press on animal welfare, environmental issues and EU-funding, the sector was left with very little public support. The consequences being dwindling political engagement, worsening general conditions and an industry considered by most, as a relic from the past.

The solution
On this basis, in 2009,  the board of the Danish Agriculture and Food Council launched a new strategy aiming to develop an organisation capable of looking beyond the confines of it’s own industry and understanding co-relations from a broader perspective. They envisaged a sector that could contribute to solving society’s challenges in relation to food, energy, environment, and pharmaceutics and animal welfare. And not least, enter into a new dialogue with society, based on openness and trust.

The communication
It was decided that 60 million Danish Kroner was to be invested in implementing the new strategy over three years. And the starting point was to be a campaign that could create the desired shift in opinion. “The future is not as dark as it has been” is the main theme in an optimistic campaign. The campaign features a number of surprisingly simple stories that paint a nuanced picture of a rapidly developing sector. The campaign message is spread through earned media – Facebook, YouTube and PR, as well as paid media – TV and cinema commercials, ads and digital banners.

Examples of communication

The Result

The results can be measured by many different parameters. Among other things, 68% of the Danish population find the campaign both interesting and thought-provoking. 77% feel that the campaign portrays a sector that sees the future in a positive way. There’s a general improvement of the industry’s image in relation to: Innovation, Environment, Export and Job Security. 60% of Danes have a positive opinion of the agricultural sector – that’s a improvement of 94% since the campaign started.

The films (featuring Danish author Jørgen Leth as narrator) achieved the second-highest marks among 40 tested commercials and the campaign has won numerous awards. The sectors press coverage has improved and it is now estimated that over 50% of all press coverage is positive. The general public’s respect has been restored and the dialogue with politicians and key opinion leaders has been revitalised. And last but by no means least, awareness of the Danish Agriculture and Food Council has been raised by 115%.

The campaign won the Effectiveness Award in 2014.

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