Idaho is giving its famous potato a new look in advertising to combat some misconceptions about the state's biggest cash crop.
Mel Anderson, executive director of the Idaho Potato Commission, said this week a survey by Women's Day magazine found that more than half of American women thought the Idaho spud can be grown in other states."That was a serious challenge to us," he said. The result was a marketing strategy that links Kdaho's pristine character with the quality of its potato crop. Its message is conveyed in a 15-second television spot that intertwines images of mountains, clear running streams, green fields and steaming, buttered bakers.
"We tried to marry the product with the place, but we also tried to deal with the quality of the environment and the water," he said. "There is a lot of consumer concern out there as far as pesticides and contamination."
The commission was created by the Legislature to promote and research on the potato crop.
It spent $3.5 million pushing the potato last year. The target audience is women between the ages of 25 and 54 with children, Anderson said. About $1 million went into magazine advertising, $1 million was spent on the television and the rest went to public relations and field promotions.
The commission also paid out $600,000 on potato research, including construction of a storage research facility at Kimberly.