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Starting a Revylution.

BASF Agricultural Solutions is leading a ‘Revylution’ in agriculture thanks to the launch of its new cereal fungicide product Revystar XE. Our task was to oversee the product’s launch in the UK market by building excitement and interest among the target audience of farmers and agricultural distributors.

BASF had to wait until December 2019 for Revystar XE to receive regulatory approval – meaning they couldn’t talk about the product in customer-facing comms until that point. This provided an opportunity to build a campaign that went far beyond the core product benefits by also positioning BASF as a thought leader and flag bearer for real change in the industry. In other words, there was a chance to spark a ‘Revylution’.

Building anticipation

The campaign was planned in a series of stages designed to build momentum. This began in August 2019 with an initial market-shaping stage, which involved talking about revolutions in agriculture across BASF social channels and through PR channels like farming industry publications. The idea was to get the industry thinking about revolutions with subtle cues that would lay the groundwork for what was to come.

A six-week communications campaign followed, built around the ‘Revylution’ concept. This brought farmers together to talk about the major challenges they faced and how a new cereal fungicide product would tackle those challenges. Creative assets for press, online and social communicated these farmers’ challenges using the line ‘That’s Y We Need A Revylution’.

Assets included photography, video and tailored content for the BASF website, as these real-life farmers were positioned as the campaign’s ‘revolutionaries’ who were generating industry discussion and excitement ahead of the product launch.

Making the revolution a reality

It was imperative that the launch of Revystar XE followed through on the pre-launch promise of revolution, so the media strategy for the unveiling was particularly bold and impactful. It included website takeovers and cover wraps of industry publications like Farmers Weekly and a video for digital channels that declared ‘The Revylution is here’.

Hard-hitting ads for press and online conveyed the product’s benefits using quick and simple visual cues. Meanwhile the revolutionary farmers demonstrated the real-life impact of Revystar XE on their farms with powerful declarations that directed other farmers to join the Revylution

Distributor events that ran for two weeks prior to the launch date ensured the market was ready for Revystar XE in a practical sense, as key suppliers were prepped about the product benefits and the launch communications plan. BASF also ran roadshow events with farmers to provide face-to-face advice about the product.

The launch of Revystar XE was therefore a great example of how to build momentum and audience interest before taking a product to market. In an industry where marketing is almost always product-oriented, we ran a campaign that didn’t even mention the product for weeks – gradually generating excitement in the lead-up to the launch. That’s what I call a revolutionary approach.

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