John Deere takes 'Project Can Do' to Facebook

OLATHE, KS: John Deere's agriculture and turf division has launched a Facebook component for its "Project Can Do" CSR initiative.

OLATHE, KS: John Deere's agriculture and turf division has launched a Facebook component for its “Project Can Do” CSR initiative.

“Project Can Do” is a cause marketing effort supporting the launch of John Deere's S-Series combine line.

The company has donated more than 300,000 cans of food, which it will use to construct a 60-foot-wide, 16-foot tall sculpture of the S-690 combine. It will put the model on display from mid-November to mid-December at the John Deere Pavilion in Moline, IL. The company will donate the canned goods to the River Bend (IL) Foodbank.

John Deere's goal is to generate awareness of both the equipment and the importance of farmers, said Nicole Schneider, project manager for communications for John Deere's agriculture and turf division.

"Not only is it giving us an opportunity to show what our products do, but more so an opportunity for our platform for our customers, the farmers, who are continually committing themselves to feeding the growing population," she said. "They have to do more with fewer resources, so giving them a spotlight in this campaign has been really important."

To create greater awareness of the model and its CSR effort, John Deere has added a campaign tab to its Facebook page to allow consumers to create their own virtual cans of food or to build virtual sculptures.  

It is also promoting “Project Can Do” on Twitter through the @JohnDeere account.

“When we talked about how can we spread the word, how can we get people interested, and how can we get people engaged, Facebook came to the forefront," said Richard Williamson, project manager and art director for John Deere's agriculture and turf division. "Social media was a way to create that spider web from the central spoke."

John Deere has had a Facebook page for about two years. Baltimore, MD-based Imre, an MSLGroup agency, will lead the campaign's social media efforts and BCS Communications will handle media relations. Budget was not disclosed.

Imre is the PR AOR for the turf unit of John Deere's agriculture and turf division, although it also works with the company's other business units. BCS has worked with the agriculture unit since 2005. The agencies deferred comments to the client.

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