NBB spearheads industry’s first-ever national television ad

By | May 13, 2011

Starting this summer, catch the new biodiesel spot during Sunday morning news shows. The 30-second television ad is a first for the National Biodiesel Board. The effort includes a national ad and local cable ads during the popular network news talk shows. Local cable advertising is targeted at the Mid-Atlantic region.

The ad is part of NBB’s Advanced Biofuel Initiative. With a $3.5 million annual budget, the initiative is the single largest project ever in NBB’s history. It is designed as a three-year project to establish biodiesel as an advanced biofuel among opinion leaders and likely detractors. The project began in January and is slated to run through December 2013.

The commercial concept and content were created based on research within the target audiences.

Focus groups held in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore showed that the starting line to effectively reach this group of high-level opinion leaders was further back than originally believed.  Among the research conclusions was the reality that the target audience knows little to nothing about biodiesel, biofuel or agriculture. For example, in addition to confusing jatropha, corn and soybean plants, participants made comments including: 

• Engines aren’t designed for biodiesel yet, and it has less energy per gallon than diesel fuel, and it’s rumored that I could pour corn oil into my fuel tank and drive around on it, but I’m certainly not going to try it.

• For motor vehicles, you can’t use it in Maryland. I’m not sure about surrounding states.
Based on this research, the ad is presented in a simple-to-understand testimonial style format and set in Dallas. It features biodiesel hard at work in buses, city equipment and emergency vehicles. Print, radio and online ads will reinforce both the images and the messages in the television commercial.

The advertising effort is just part of the overall Advanced Biofuel Initiative. The program also includes opportunities for direct outreach to likely detractors such as environmental organizations, all designed to establish biodiesel as an advanced biofuel.

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