FAQ’S

1. How did the campaign start?
2. Why is CIP behind the campaign?
3. Has this model been successful before?
4. Why the time frame?
5. What are some examples of strategies in the campaign?
6. Why is the private sector so important as a messenger?
7. What happens after the campaign?
8. Why do we ask for USD 5000 dollars to join the campaign?
9. Is a fee of USD 5000 dollars fair to everyone?
10. How will we prevent copycats that don’t pay the fee but use the message?
11. What about the critics of the potato?
12. Why the phrase?

1. How did the campaign start?

The potato yields more food, more quickly, using less water and on less land than any other major crop. But potato consumption particularly in Europe and North America is stagnant and there are many misconceptions regarding its attributes.   While there is a need to maximize the crop’s potential, many consumers take the potato for granted and the campaign was created by CIP to remind consumers of the extraordinary value of the potato.

It was key to find a campaign model that has the potential of being successful on a global scale and did not require a massive investment.  That is why as CIP we looked for the creators of a campaign model that fits these characteristics and relies on a crowd funding and participatory approach that shares the burden amongst many players and uses the existing marketing power of the private sector and other institutions to help deliver the message.

CIP has already been successful in creating campaigns that highlight the role of the potato as a solution to our many challenges such as declaring 2008 the International Year of the Potato.

2. Why is CIP behind the campaign?

CIP acts as a global caretaker of the potato.  Although there have been many efforts to promote the crop in different countries, the potato is a truly global commodity and CIP is ideally placed to promote a global campaign.  We need to encourage potato production to help solve the problems of food security.  We need to encourage scientific research to increase yields and make the most of its biodiversity.  We need to promote its consumption and help consumers understand how to make the most of the potato’s many nutritional qualities and we need to build closer links between institutions like CIP with our scientific and development mission to safeguard the potato, and the private sector that brings the potato to consumers around the world.

3. Has this model been successful before?

In 2014 this model was implemented very successfully in Colombia.  Over 200 private sector companies, sports clubs, universities and even religious organizations adopted a message promoting peace in a country that was in the midst of negotiations between the government and left wing guerrillas after 50 years of conflict.  The SOY CAPAZ (I can) campaign encouraged partners to use the color white in the packaging of their most popular products and use different variations of the phrase SOY CAPAZ as a message that expressed the need for society to take part in the complex process of peace building.  To date it is the largest campaign ever created in Colombia and the peace process received a strong boost and an increase in society’s awareness of the need to start building peace.

4. Why the time frame?

The campaign’s participatory model relies on strength by numbers, so we have to ensure that many different actors from the private and public sector take part.  This takes time. Once enrolled, private sector companies require time to adapt the main concept of the campaign to their own marketing strategies and that is why 2018 will be a year of enrolment and preparation to launch the global campaign in late 2018, early 2019 by a variety of partners.

5. What are some examples of strategies in the campaign?

There are many ways of promoting the message.  From including the official logo and premise on the packaging of potatoes and potato related products to more creative efforts such as choosing a day when potato products are missing from menus or popular potato products are packed in black wrappings for a few weeks.  We are relying on the creativity and knowledge of the market of the different private sector actors who join to deliver the message in many different ways to create an awareness of the importance of the potato in our lives by encouraging society to imagine a world without them.

6. Why is the private sector so important as a messenger?

The private sector knows its consumers better than anyone.  It has the marketing reach and resources to be able to deliver the message of the campaign.  By working together with other competitors, it delivers a message that can be trusted, not because each company plugs its own brand, but because during the campaign they overcome competition and deliver a message that promotes one of their main products, the potato.  The simultaneous campaign launch by hundreds of companies and organizations asking the world a single question will surprise consumers across the planet by asking them to imagine the unimaginable.

7. What happens after the campaign?

Having poised the question, we will have laid the groundwork to make consumers more receptive to the many educational campaigns that promote the qualities of the potato.  This campaign is aimed at making people aware of the potato’s potential.  Once their curiosity has been raised, they will be more receptive to the messaging led by the private sector and potato associations around the world that explain the potato’s nutritional and economic benefits

8. Why do we ask for USD 5000 dollars to join the campaign?

Global campaigns often run into the millions of dollars.  By making the best use of the marketing resources of each of our partners we can join together in a successful campaign for a fraction of the normal cost.  We are not asking each company to spend millions of dollars but to adapt their own marketing efforts that are already funded and include the concept of Imagine a World without Potatoes.  The USD 5000 fee will pay for the management of the campaign and the creation and implementation of its digital and social media strategy, a platform that coordinates the different efforts and helps to promote them.

9. Is a fee of USD 5000 dollars fair to everyone?

The private sector has a wide range of actors, from global multinationals to small scale growers and companies catering for local markets. This campaign wants to include as many actors as possible.  It may seem lopsided to ask the same contribution from companies that have vastly different revenues but the model works both ways.  Large companies through their marketing power will help to greatly expand our audience and this benefits the smaller companies who are putting forth the same message.  We are also encouraging different potato associations to join the campaign, paying the fee and enabling all of their smaller members to take part.

10. How will we prevent copycats that don’t pay the fee but use the message?

From previous experience we find that this is a very rare occurrence.  The potato world is also a tight knit community where most of the actors are well known by others.  To use the official campaign logo without paying the fee would at the very least be embarrassing.  We will be monitoring the use of the logo in different territories and take the necessary actions to shame those that might try and use it without being official partners of the campaign.

11. What about the critics of the potato?

There are many critics of the potato.  From those who argue misguidedly that it does not respond to the nutritional requirements of a healthy diet to those who criticize the use of pesticides and herbicides.  This campaign is an opportunity to promote a sensible debate on the subject.  By raising the awareness of the importance of the potato in our diets and as a potential answer to the challenges we face in the future we can realign the debate to speak of the positive aspects of the potato, the need to maximize production and continue the supply of cost efficient, quality products that satisfy consumers.

12. Why the phrase?

Imagine a World Without Potatoes is a call to action.  We are not telling consumers what to think but allowing them the freedom to use their imagination and draw conclusions on their own.  In a world where social networks and marketing strategies are increasingly viewed with a high dose of cynicism, it is important to use a message that does not tell consumers what to think, but that encourages them to realize the importance of the message by themselves.  We tried the message in different markets around the globe and found that it achieved its goals.  The realization that potatoes are an integral part of our lives, that they evoke feelings of tradition, home cooked meals, warmth and pleasure.  The problem is not that the potato fails to inspire, it is that we take it for granted.  Its ubiquity has meant that we do not have to think of where it comes from or care about its importance to our lives.  If we address that issue first, then we are creating a more open mind in consumers to listen to campaigns that promote its nutritional qualities and raise consumption and interest in the potato’s role in the future.

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