In 2016, The Cotton Board launched a new multimedia campaign directed toward cotton producers, in the hopes of giving them the confidence needed to renew their faith in cotton.
The “Renew Your Faith in Cotton” campaign (renew.cottonboard.org) launched at a time when cotton was entering into new territory — prices were low and market share was declining. It was a forward-looking rallying cry for the cotton industry, letting the cotton-growing community know that the Cotton Research and Promotion Program is pressing on and that possibilities for cotton are limitless.
The campaign tells the story of research and promotion being done by Cotton Incorporated, and introduces the cotton industry to exciting projects that are leading to innovations in use of cotton for food production and breakthroughs in fiber technology.
The campaign has been executed through a variety of channels, including print advertising, radio features, and digital platforms. The print campaign has six ads — three focused on cotton as the food of the future, and three focused on cotton as the fiber of the future.
The ads ultimately drive users to the Renew Your Faith in Cotton website, where they can learn more about the research behind each specific project. The site is the designated place where growers can go to see how their program funds are being used.
In 2017, The Cotton Board extended the campaign to include testimonials from cotton producers who have a renewed faith in cotton. This testimonial phase includes a series of videos chronicling the stories of two cotton producers as they go through the growing season.
The first producer featured is Patrick Johnson, Tunica, Miss., who was first visited during the spring and filmed as he was planting his crop. In the video, Patrick talks about the faith it takes to sow a seed, and why he continues to grow cotton, even after 21 crops. “I’d like people to understand that there still are families out here working the land, trying to produce the fiber and the food that the U.S. and the world needs — and they’re trying to do it in a responsible, sustainable way,” he says.
Patrick was visited again during harvest, and a second video was recorded on how his crop, and his faith in cotton, fared over the season. His crop turned out great, and his faith in cotton was as strong as ever.
“Because of the work that’s being done by Cotton Incorporated, and others, we’re starting to see some demand develop for cotton,” he says, “and we’re hopeful that we can get to a place where we have a steady cotton industry in our area.”
The second grower featured in the video series is Larry McClendon, Marianna, Ark., who was visited by the video production team after his 2017 crop first emerged, and again during harvest. “Over the course of my farming years, I think my greatest joy has been in growing the crop,” he says. “Cotton has satisfied me — and rewarded me more — than any crop I’ve ever grown.”
A RENEWABLE RESOURCE
In his second video, McClendon says, “Cotton’s in a wonderful position going forward, because we are the renewable resource for clothing. I think the benefits and positive side of cotton are becoming more and more evident all the time. Cotton has a wonderful story to tell.”
The testimonial videos can be seen on The Cotton Board’s Facebook page or by visiting the Video Gallery at cottonboard.org
Cotton’s future is renewable. Cotton prices have risen and fallen many times, but the demand for this natural, sustainable resource always returns with new possibilities and advances from research and promotion.
The Cotton Research and Promotion Program continues to cultivate new markets and applications for cotton on behalf of today’s producers and importers, and for the generations to follow. While downturns in cotton prices make headlines, new markets and innovations for cotton have the potential to make even more history. To find out more about the campaign, visit renew.cottonboard.org.
(For more information on this story, please contact Stacey Gorman at [email protected])