The Video from 2014 - National Tractor Parts Dealer Association

I was going through some old notes this weekend preparing for a trip to Mobile, Alabama to cover the annual meeting and trade show for Video single our client the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association. During the search I ran into a promotional video I did for them four years ago along with an outtake from the first scene. 

At the time the association was struggling with getting people to attend their event so they asked us to do a number of things to push attendance levels which, by the way, worked. It's amazing what can happen when you put some thought into a multifaceted approach to solving a problem.

Anyway, I thought you might get a kick out of this one outtake that set up the beginning of the video. I've been doing this stuff for years and, for folks not in the business, it's enlightening to learn how much goes into just a few seconds of finished video. Equipment issues, forgetting the lines, tripping while walking.  So here is the outtake I found:


And then this is the finished product:


It was all shot with a single camera. The shoot took about two days and another day to edit. They had a very tight budget so it was a "one man effort" with some help from friends, Mariah, Tony and Georgie.  It was fun to do...and thought we would share. 

The New RAGBRAI Logo

When we first saw the 2015 RAGBRAI Logo we LOVED it! And, because Soviet Ag Poster (some of us are old enough to recognize some historical things) it looked faintly like a Soviet Agricultural Poster from the Stalin Era. See...

That made it all the better...great lines and the "red star" made it even more attractive. (Commies....)

Then our friends from the "cycling community" started to voice concerns, "It looks like the tractor is running over a bicycle!" was the most 
RAGBRAI Logo 2015common.  And, indeed, if you look at the logo with that does.

"News Flash!" (Yep, the words of the RAGBRAI Director...) Clearly the Des Moines Register graphic design folks must have read the piece written by our friend Kyle Munson just days before the logo reveal (maybe not) which centered on the killing of a cyclist in Calhoun County early this year.  The judge set down the maximum penalty under Iowa Law, $1,500.  If you didn't read that you can listen in to a segment of the Business News Hour where it was discussed. 

Did we happen to mention that Iowa has fallen in the rankings of "bicycle friendly states" from 6th most friendly to...25th?

But, this isn't about the pitiful way in which Iowa treats its cyclists.  Or how many folks in Rural Iowa think bicycles have no place on the roads of our state.  Nope, it's about the logo...which, by the way, we still like.

Now, if only, we could get more folks in Iowa to love cycling for more than the dollars it brings some of our hamlets, THAT would be super!




Smells Like....

Long before Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications I had a Garlic Bunch July 2013 hand in...farming.  For real.  Born and raised in Detroit the journey to the farm field was...different.  Once settled in we raised cattle, hogs, chickens, corn, hay and a two acre garden.

But we never, to my memory, grew garlic.

Last fall we went to Farm Crawl 2012 and picked up some "Hard-Neck Garlic" seed bulbs and promptly planted them.  Now what?

This spring I asked our friend, organic farmer, Larry Cleverley of Cleverley Farms, "OK Garlic Scapes 2013now what?"

He told me to make sure I cut off the "Scapes" once they emerged. "What's a garlic scape?"

"The little flower stalk that emerge in June.  When you cut that off it sends the power to the garlic bulb." (The "scape" is the little bulb to the left of the garlic "fruit".)

So, I tried it and damn if Larry wasn't right.  Here is a photo of the difference between a garlic bulb that did not have the scape cut off (r) and one that did.  I like to think of it as my "control plant". Garlic Size 2013

I did not know about growing garlic...even though I had been a farmer.  I asked an expert and he told me the what to do.  It's sort of like advertising and marketing.  Most business do it...but do they really  Guess when you want to go from small to big...ask an expert?




Thanks for coming by! If you want to leave a comment here, feel free. And/Or let's connect on our advertising agency Twitter Stream @InsightADV and our agency Facebook Page which is right here

Business Development - Betting on Rural Iowa

Betting on the future of Rural Iowa Calcium Products, Inc. has purchased a vacant  1960’s school building located in tiny Gilmore City (pop. 504) DSC_1840 web and is in the process of transforming it into their corporate offices. “We’ve needed more space for a very long time”, says Craig Dick, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the firm which manufacturers north America’s most effective soil amendments. “The offices we co-located at one of our manufacturing plants.  You cannot imagine how dusty our old offices were. This arrangement will allow us to keep a presence in Gilmore City and give a boost to the local economy.”

Craig Dick said Calcium Products is seeking to add a number of people to their growing support team including customer service representatives, DSC_1842 webaccounting and administrative roles, and employees for other various positions. “We’ve been asked if we thought being in such a rural area would hinder our hiring. While it can be a bit more difficult to find people, when you do find someone in a rural area, their quality as an employee is unrivaled. When people are offered a good job with a very stable company and can stay in the community or return to the community they grew up in, it’s a winning combination for everyone." (Image: Accountant Susan Flurer standing in the gym area which will be transformed into offices.)

The employees of Calcium Products, Inc. aren’t the only people excited about this move.  Dick “Putter” Jergens is the mayor of Gilmore City and was helpful in securing the abandoned building. “I’d say it was sitting empty for at least fifteen years”, said Jergens.  “The local Catholic Church once had used it for their school and social functions.  But, as time went on and the congregation aged the building was used less and less.”  When asked about the cities relationship with Calcium Products, Inc. Jergens was quick to respond, “We are so proud of Calcium Products and their founder Larry Moore.  He and his family have done so much for Gilmore City and this is just another example.  This is good for Gilmore City because it’s a major boost.  Heck, if they add five new jobs that’s one-percent of our population and that’s a good thing.”




If you wish to comment here, feel free or connect with us on our advertising agency Twitter Stream @InsightADV or our agency Facebook Page which is right here.

The Friday Wrap for Business

Each Friday afternoon we spend some time looking at stories you might Friday have seen or perhaps missed and then add our commentary. If you want to jump directly to The Friday Wrap with Insight on Business here you go. Topics and issues this week:

  • Target Marketing - Knowing Where Your Customer Is
  • Agriculture & Main Street - The USDA Farm Bill and You
  • Jason Falls Does DSM - Social Media/No Bull/All Business
  • Viral Videos - What Makes a Great Video?
  • Email Marketing - Facebook to Make Changes
  • Old Ads - Some Funny Stuff Out There

Here is the link to The Friday Wrap with Insight on Business.  If you want to leave a comment here you can or join us on Twitter @InsightADV and here is our advertising/communication agency Facebook Page.  Have a great weekend! - Michael


Two Stories from Agriculture & Media

Our firm is deeply involved in agriculture.  We've got clients from Germany to California who depend on selling everything from equipment to food.  We are grateful for those long-term relationships. Armstrong Gottsch Vilsack Aug 2012

This past week we were fortunate to take part in two agricultural events that were different but still major. On Thursday I was invited to the Agricultural Townhall Meeting sponsored by RFD-TV and held in the Media Center of the Cattle Barn on the Iowa State Fairgrounds.  Well known farm broadcaster Max Armstrong hosted the full hour event (no commercials) featuring US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack that centered on the drought, the stalled Farm Bill, the future of agriculture for young people and food security.

Some Quotes from Sec. Vilsack:

  • Congress needs to pass the Farm Bill now because growers/producers need to know where they stand going forward;
  • A major part of my job is to assure trading partners that the United States is a worthy ally and we take global food security issues seriously;
  • We need to get back to teaching agriculture issues in the public schools only then will a society, so distanced from the farm, begin to understand the relationship between farm and food;
  • The future of agriculture in the United States is in good hands given the leadership we see in FFA and other farm directed youth groups;
  • Agriculture groups need to talk to each other rather than fight among themselves.  When we fight it does nothing to present a unified voice to non-farm state leaders.

Big props to RFD-TV and my old friend Patrick Gottsch (in the photo with Max and Sec. Vilsack) for doing these townhall meetings and his continued work to spread the good news of agriculture.  I wish I could find the was very informative!

Agriculture & Social Media

My friend Deb Brown has been a brand spokesperson for the 140 Character Conference "The State of Now" for several years.  Following two successful events in Des Moines Deb felt that agriculture needed a special event centered on using social media to communicate with each other and the non-ag world.  She brought together several of us for the 140 Conference AgIowa.  While you'll soon be able to see the 17 presentations on UStream here is a quick video with some fun out-takes from the event.


Why share these events with you?  Because they matter and it shows how committed agriculture is to reaching out to each other and the general public.  Agriculture matters and everyone is...welcome.



If you want to comment here, feel free or join us on Twitter @InsightADV and here is our advertising agency Facebook Page. Thanks for coming by - Michael Libbie

Social Media for Agriculture - For Less than 2 bu.

What to do following several days at the Agricultural Media Summit in 140-Characters-Conference-logo- New Mexico?  Head back to Iowa and visit with farmers at the AgIowa 140 Character Conference this Friday.

Look, there may be only 2.2 million farms and 4.4 million farmers but they, just like you in your business, count on information to guide them.  This Friday seventeen of the states best social media folk will gather for a grower specific event at the Scheman Building on the Iowa State University Campus to talk about using Twitter to gather and share news and information.

The AgIowa 140 Character Conference kicks off at 2PM and each presenter has ten minutes to share his/her advice on the how, when, why of Twitter for Agri-Business.  The cost?  Less than two bushels of corn.

Join us for a great event.  To see the list of farmers and agri-business professionals who are coming to share just head to our AgIowa - 140 Character Conference page and....sign up dang it!




If you would like to connect here with a comment, feel free.  OR..head to our Twitter Stream @InsightADV.  See you in Ames, Iowa!

Sharing Agriculture

Face it, the vast majority of US citizens know next to nothing about Corn Field Web food production.  It's sad how far we've strayed from "the family farm" over the past 30 years.  Those are some of the concerns expressed by professional writers, film makers, editors and social medial experts at this years Ag Media Summit sponsored by the American Agriculture Editors Association.

How deep is the disconnect between consumers and agriculture?  In my hands I am looking at a 16 page piece called "Building Trust in Agriculture" a research piece by the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance. The bottom line is that when agriculture says the sky is blue many in our society say it's black.

How did we get to this point?  Trust & Numbers

For all the good things agriculture means for the world there are those things that hound our work. For example we've recently been through the "Pink Slime" issue.  Lean Textured Beef isn't "pink slime" but that didn't keep the unknowing urban media from blasting the story and causing companies to fold and a loss of 700 jobs.  There are too many of "them" and not enough

And Trust.  We have become a country divided.  We're deeply divided on food issues, religion, politics...and why?   Money my friends.  Division creates wealth among those who would divide.  It is the business of distrust and it is growing.

So we pound out the positive stories while all the time knowing it is the negative that sells.  That's a sad commentary on our times and we can do better. Moderation does need...voice.

If you want to comment here feel free or follow us on Twitter @InsightADV.  Thanks for reading.




The Friday Wrap - Des Moines Register Edition

Each Friday morning we sit down with some of the advertising and marketing stories you may have seen...or missed...and lace them with our opinion. It's our way to share with you ideas for your business, no matter the size.  If you want to throw us a comment you can do that here or on Twitter @InsightADV and our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here.  Let's go...

The New Apple Ads

There's been some buzz regarding these and most of it has been negitive.  Things like, "Why show consumers to be ignorant?" and "I'm disapointed in Apple.  We miss Steve!"  Here's the ad and our take:


We think most of the negatives are coming from folks who are already deeply involved with Apple products.  They have become used to the sleek and sophisticated side of Apple and this ad is anything but.  However, we think it works because...of the "great unwashed".  Look there are a slug of people who know not the difference between Apple and Android.  The consumer here isn't "dumb" but simply...the average person who just does not know.  That's the market...we think. You?

Then There is...This

FedEx just released a series of ads that point to the issue of hauling golf clubs around.  It works on so many levels. One of the interesting things was the timing. Releasing these this late in the...summer?  But, then again perhaps it's geared to the traveler who is headed south for the next business meeting?


We likey...especially the last line, "I'll get some water for those flowers..." Brilliant! Bottom line:  If you take your time with a great idea and write well...oh, and spend some money..OK?

Communicating Agriculture

In August folks who communicate to the outside world about agriculture have a variety of things going on.  Here's is the piece we wrote about AAEA, State of Now - Iowa Agriculture and the Iowa State Fair.  Actually, as our friend Glen Howell brought to our attention we've also got the Farm Progress Showin Boone at the end of the month. Thanks Glen!  Here is the post, go ahead, have a read...but...come back?

Central Iowa Bloggers - Group Think

This morning, early, a group of eight "advertising types" gathered for the monthly meeting of the Central Iowa Bloggers.  Known as CIB it's a very informal meeting where we just share...stuff.  Three interesting things from today:

Here's a little promo piece we did...once.


If you are interested in joining this motley group we meet up in West Des Moines at Panera Bread the first Friday of each month...about 7:30 or so.

OK...that's a wrap.  Gotta get back to it.  Thanks for coming by!





Communicating Agriculture

This month we've got three great events that are meant to help us Three Fingers communicate the reality of agriculture.  Each is different but worth a solid look. 

American Agricultural Editors Association

Each year the AAEA brings together some of the best minds for a three day learning session. This year we'll gather in Albuquerque to better hone our craft.  From trade show meetings to learning better photography skills members will learn new and exciting methods as we reach out to growers and the general public.  

State of Now - Agriculture Iowa

On August 17 at Iowa State University farmers, ranchers and growers of all kinds have the opportunity to spend a day learning about how to connect, market and share information by using Twitter.  Deb Brown the organizer for the 140 Character Conference has assembled a great group, including farmers, who will present solid ideas to get you going and keep you on track.  The State of Now - Agriculture Iowa will take place in the Scheman Building.  Here is the link to get you started.

The Iowa State Fair

Imagine the possibilities when rural and urban folks get together for this eleven day celebration of Iowa. From video to blogs to Tweets the Iowa State Fair offers those of us committed to agriculture a rare opportunity to impact people with our story. For those of you using Twitter it's #IowaStateFair and @IowaStateFair is the Twitter "handle" where Emily will answer your questions and take your comments.

We'll be at them all and look forward to seeing you...

If you want to leave a comment here, feel free or you can connect with Twitter @InsightADV or our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here.