Cargill Growing Series



Turning the Growing Season into a Fantasy League

Cargill provides food, agriculture and risk management products and services to customers around the world. Cargill has always been a pro-active organization that works hard to anticipate the evolving needs of their customers. Recently, they’ve applied that same style of thinking to their sales and marketing strategy, and Cargill has grown to become a digital marketing leader in the agriculture industry.

The Opportunity

Cargill asked us to create a campaign with the goals of selling more crop inputs and increasing grower interaction with their experts. They also wanted to position themselves as trusted advisors in purchasing decisions and overcome the perception amongst growers that Cargill is a place to sell grain but not to buy inputs.

The Approach

In the previous year, we ran a successful seed selection contest for Cargill, and by looking at customer data, we knew there was significant overlap between fantasy sports fans and Cargill’s target audience. This insight led us to “Cargill Growing Series 2016-17,” a fantasy football-inspired concept with a platform that would keep growers engaged throughout the growing season and into fall.

Cargill experts invited customers to in-field “huddles” to discuss current issues and give advice, then shared their highlights on social media. To support their staff, we created branded shwag, an interactive website, email marketing, a social campaign, blogs and digital advertising. The Growing Series campaign ran from May to November, 2016, to stay top of mind during seed purchase season.

We gamified seed selection to create a fun, memorable experience that would keep people coming back for more. We kept users engaged with up-to-date, location-specific information and a contest that gave growers a chance to win free seed. Along with design features that gave the campaign an authentic, pro-sports feel, Growing Series positioned Cargill as a go-to source for crop inputs.


The Result

The inbound methodology behind Growing Series directly influenced crop input sales, with growers seeking new chemistry they learned about from Growing Series content. Growing Series also saw higher levels of engagement with Cargill staff than any other marketing initiative and went on to win several awards, including:

The Canadian Agri-Marketing Association’s Best of CAMA awards

  • 1st place winner for Total Campaign ($100,000 – $250,000)
  • 1st place winner for Web Design
  • 1st place winner for Writing