The first time I saw the gorgeously photographed and expertly edited Farm Families of Mississippi TV commercials, I figured they’d been done by a high-powered ad agency video crew.
Not so. They were, and are, produced by the communications department of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, which conceived the idea for the campaign that will kick off its eighth year in 2018. Greg Gibson, communications coordinator, and Mark Morris, communications specialist, who do the ultra-high def digital photography (Mark handles the editing that packs the most visual and audio content into the brief commercials), consistently turn out compelling videos that spotlight Mississippi farmers telling how they produce high quality food and fiber, while safeguarding their land and water and the environment.
“We don’t hire actors — we use real farmers and their families for our videos, billboards, etc., which lends even more credibility to the image and message we want to convey,” Gibson says. He laughingly notes that farmers/family members featured in the videos “become stars in their communities” through the TV and online exposure.
All come across as sincere and natural. The 2018 videos focus on issues in the public eye — including GMOs, antibiotics, and trade. Among those featured:
• A blueberry grower, who extols the antioxidant benefits of his fruit against aging, cancer, and heart disease. Blueberries — “great to eat and so ‘berry’ good for you,” he smiles.
• Livestock farmers want to raise the tastiest, most healthful meat for you and your family, the voice-over says. Responsible use of animal antibiotics benefits all of us by making food safer and more affordable. The mother says, “We take care of our cows just like we take care of our kids: we give them the medicines the doctor orders.”
• A row crops family: “My husband works hard every day to produce a safe, affordable food source for you and your family,” the wife says. “One way he does that is by using biotechnology or GMOs.” GMOs help farmers grow more food while using fewer inputs, the voice-over notes. Over the last 20 years, GMOs have reduced pesticide applications by 8 percent and increased crop yields by 22 percent. “After being consumed in hundreds of millions of meals and studied for decades,” the mother says, “GMOs have not contributed to a single illness or death.”
• Another producer notes, “Whether it’s a huge farm like some of my neighbors, or a small farm like ours, we’re all headed in one direction: to provide a safe and abundant food and fiber source for not only our families, but families of doctors and lawyers, and all men, women, and children who benefit from what we do every day.”
Watch for the latest commercials when they start airing in 2018. You can see commercials from previous campaigns on the Farm Families of Mississippi YouTube channel at this link.