Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Spudtacular idea shows mark of pride for three Idaho brothers

Many states — or organizations within them — have worked hard on branding, and have adopted names and logos to help promote their agricultural products. Usually the logos have a lot in common: the shape of the state, a line about being grown, produced or made in that state, and occasionally something about standards, quality or tradition.

Some states guard these brands fiercely and really restrict where and when they can be used. Other states are more open in how they allow the image to be used.

The battle has always been how widely should the logo be used to promote the reputation of the state’s agricultural products, versus maintaining the integrity of the brand.

The Idaho Potato Commission is one of the organizations that sees the potential in have people promote the brand. The Commission sees the value in using big name celebrities as well as encouraging ordinary people to help promote Idaho potatoes.

For example, at the website tied to the commission, a former actress from the comedy show Gilligan’s Island uses humor to share one of her cooking tips — but also encourages people to share their potato tips in a video contest.

As for ordinary people, the Commission couldn’t resist recently using a press release to play up a family who decided to show their support for Idaho another way: tattoos. Not just ordinary ones: they used the certified logo that is placed on all Idaho potato packaging.

“While stationed in Guam, Technical Sergeant Ben David, who is currently stationed at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, had the famous "Grown in Idaho" Seal tattooed on his right shoulder...complete with the registered trademark...of course!” said the press release.

It went on: “A couple years ago I looked at the “Grown in Idaho” Seal and thought to myself... hey I'm grown in Idaho too,” said David. “I am extremely proud of my Idaho roots and am not afraid to show it! To me the Seal not only means great potatoes, it means a great state, a great way of life and something to be proud of.”

Following his example, two of his three brothers — Matthew and Cory David — also tattooed themselves with the brand on their shoulders.

Rather than become upset or cite trademark infringement, the potato commission decided to take a different approach.

“When I learned of Ben's tattoo, I was actually touched,” the press release quoted Frank Muir, President and CEO, of the Idaho Potato Commission. “Here is a young airman, who is so proud of his American heritage, especially his Idaho roots, he has a permanent tattoo to symbolize this drawn on his shoulder.”

However, the Commission did want to make clear how important an image is — and stressed that competitors especially should be careful not to copy the image onto their products.

“Although Idaho is famous worldwide for its premium potatoes, some consumers don’t realize that only potatoes grown in the Gem State can wear the “Grown in Idaho” Seal. Both words Idaho® Potatoes and the “Grown in Idaho®” Seal are federally registered Certification Marks that certify to consumers that they are purchasing genuine Idaho Potatoes that have been grown in the state of Idaho,” said the Commission.

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1 comment:

threecollie said...

I love it! Can't beat those country boys...

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