Each holiday season, turkey production increases dramatically to meet consumer demand, providing the perfect opportunity for Butterball to achieve visibility as the “turkey expert.” As this season receives heightened attention from animal interest groups, efforts were needed to effectively manage potential controversy while positioning Butterball as the leader in safe, humane and wholesome turkey production.

The team leveraged the time period to establish and strengthen relationships between Butterball and the community, industry and media, while focusing on communicating Butterball’s commitment to animal welfare and food safety.

The team planned and executed a variety of events to maximize exposure of Butterball as an industry leader. Events included art contests for Garner elementary schools, a press conference with N.C. Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler at the local Butterball family farm that produced the turkey pardoned by President Obama, and festivities at Butterball’s whole bird processing plants to celebrate achievement of the millionth bird produced.

Pitches and messaging coincided with fresh season milestones to expand Butterball’s presence beyond agriculture and production trade media to also include local, state and national coverage.

Butterball made its biggest corporate splash to date on a local, regional and national scale. Thanksgiving-related coverage more than doubled from the previous year, reaching an audience of more than 83 million. Press highlights included messaging about Butterball’s family farming, animal welfare and safety practices in outlets such as HLN-CNN, NPR, ABC News and the Associated Press. Furthermore, Butterball was positioned as a local agricultural leader in TV coverage that blanketed all of North Carolina as well as localized areas in Arkansas, Missouri and Colorado. The 2009 corporate campaign effort succeeded in solidifying Butterball’s image as the premier industry leader.