|GHQ| TALKING SHOP
This year’s Idaho Potato Retail advertising campaign
revolves around the adventures of the Idaho Potato Field
Force. What was the inspiration behind the campaign
and how affective has it been?
Jamie Bowen: The original Idaho Potato Field Force Comic Ad
Campaign was designed to familiarize produce retailers with
the Idaho Potato Commission Retail promotion directors. It
was also meant to explain the variety of ways the retail promotion directors can help category managers via Idaho Potato
promotions, market data, category analysis information and
more. The Idaho Potato Field Force was reintroduced to retailers last fall with the Return of the Idaho Potato Field Force and
the campaign continues throughout the year.
Humorous Comic Book-themed materials featuring Idaho
Potato promotion directors in superhero costumes swooping to the rescue of produce retailers builds camaraderie and
reminds them that the promotion directors are always here to
help “save the day” by increasing sales and profits.
With the Big Idaho Potato Truck hitting the road again
this spring, what would you like the readers to know?
The Big Idaho Potato Truck began crisscrossing the nation in
March on its 5th annual tour and you can bet it will still draw
a crowd of enthusiastic supporters wherever it goes. This year,
the Idaho Potato Commission will continue to take advantage
of the super spud’s appeal to deliver “A Big Helping” to charities across the U.S., providing groups with a unique opportunity to raise money and awareness for their causes. The IPC will
work with the selected charity to create an event to help raise
awareness, funds, food or all three for the non-profit.
The Potato Lover’s Month Display Contest is always a
huge hit. Was there anything new and exciting about
this year’s contest?
This year’s Potato Lover’s Month Retail Display Contest fea-
tured double the number of award levels, double the number
of spud-friendly partner products and the largest amount of
prize money ever. Also new for this year, Country Crock Original
buttery spread joined Hormel Real
Bacon Bits as partners, offering
retailers even more options for get-
ting potato lovers fired up during a
traditionally slower time of year.
Retailers that create original in-store displays using IPC’s special point-of-sale materials will vie for increased cash
awards in 2016, honoring the first through 10th place winners
in three different store categories. In addition, we are continuing the Category Manager Match Program and will award
equivalent cash prizes to category managers at stores that
qualify for a first through 10th place prize.
Being an exhibitor at the PMA Fresh Summit show each
year, what does the IPC do to keep Idaho potatoes top of
mind and customers coming back to your booth?
The Idaho Potato Commission is proud to be a vital part of the
action at the annual PMA Fresh Summit show because it is a
great way for us to meet with our customers, showcase new
and exciting Idaho potato recipes and of course, keep the
Idaho potato brand front-and-center. Not only do we have an
exciting booth with state-of-the-art activities each year, we
also have a Sponsored Refresh Lounge where we serve delicious Idaho potato dishes for both breakfast and lunch.
Some of our most popular booth events have included
activities like “Danceheads,” where attendees lip synced (in
front of a green screen) to one of four familiar pop tunes that
were customized to tout the joys of Idaho potatoes and then
were given a one-of-a-kind souvenir of their performance on
a DVD. Other popular years included a simulated ride that
showed Idaho potato ad star Mark Coombs’ airborne quest
to find the elusive Big Idaho Potato Truck and our real life
Superhero’s who brought the IPC comic book retail ad campaign to life. This consisted of dressing actors up in 7-foot-tall
superhero costumes that were made to look like the retail promotion directors themselves. And, who can forget the year we
had the cast from Gilligan’s Island in our booth?
WITH JAMIE BOWEN
Jamie Bowen, marketing manager for the Idaho Potato Commission
(IPC), says keeping Idaho potatoes front-of-mind is a labor of love.