Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin wins marketing gold

Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin
The Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin marketing team won a Gold award at the Association of National Advertiser's REGGIE Awards competition for their creative Wisconsin Cheese activation at SXSW in Austin, Texas in March 2018. The organization won the the Small Budget Campaign Category, proving that small marketing budgets can bring big results.

The Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin marketing team took home a Gold award for their Wisconsin Cheese brand activation at the 2019 Association of National Advertiser’s REGGIE Awards competition on May 15.

Wisconsin Cheese was recognized for superior brand marketing along with some of the biggest brands in the world including Oreo, Coca-Cola, Cheetos, and Taco Bell. Their winning campaign was The World’s Longest Cheeseboard experience at South by Southwest in March 2018.

The team later made history by officially setting a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® title in August 2018.

Since 1983, the REGGIE Awards have been the premier industry awards program recognizing the best marketing campaigns activated by brands and agencies. The Small Budget Campaign category is for Brand Activation campaigns that achieved magic and effectiveness on a tight budget.

Pictured left to right: Rachel Kerr, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, Director of Events and PR and Suzanne Fanning, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin Senior Vice President and Wisconsin Cheese Chief Marketing Officer accept the Gold REGGIE Award on behalf of Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin.

“ANA is one of the nation’s most respected marketing leadership organizations and we are honored to receive this award on behalf of Wisconsin’s dairy farmers, said Chad Vincent, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin CEO. “This award is a testament to the talent, ingenuity and vision of our staff’s world-class marketing team. Our industry is experiencing difficult times and this is an excellent example of how the team is stretching farmer dollars and tirelessly working to explore new, creative strategies that drive demand and advance our state’s signature industry.”

Thousands of people from across the globe visited #SXSWisconsin to taste over 2,000 pounds of award-winning Wisconsin Cheese, ranging from blue-veined cheddars and aromatic limburger to hand-rubbed wheels and fresh, squeaky curds. This sparked a national conversation about Wisconsin specialty cheese with the #SXSWisconsin hashtag amassing 2.7 million impressions on Twitter alone in just two days.

Media coverage from Food & Wine, CNET, Eater Austin, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the San Diego Union-Tribune, Dallas News and more applauded the event as the most popular thing at SXSW.

“At an interactive conference focused on the latest trends in digital and tech, we chose to put people, conversation, connection and cheese at the forefront,” said Suzanne Fanning, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin Senior Vice President and Wisconsin Cheese Chief Marketing Officer. “By using digital fabrication technology we built a barn indoors to house a 70-foot long cheeseboard, creating a remarkable offline experience. Our goal was to transport people from a conference room in Texas to the lush, rolling hills of America’s Dairyland, so they could experience a little wedge of Wisconsin wonderful.”

Partners on this project were Brains on Fire, a creative agency and certified B Corporation that specializes in helping clients grow through storytelling and meaningful human connection, and Better Block, a non-profit that helped fabricate the barn.