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Influencer Farming John Deere's Bold Strategy To Redefine Agriculture's Image


Influencer Farming: John Deere’s Bold Strategy To Redefine Agriculture’s Image 

John Deere, the iconic American agricultural machinery company, is embarking on an innovative marketing campaign that blends cutting-edge technology with traditional farming practices. The company has hired David Cogen, better known as TheUnlockr on social media, to experience the entire crop cycle firsthand and document his journey on his popular online channels.

John Deere’s goal is to shift the narrative around farming from being an unsophisticated and old-fashioned endeavor to a technologically advanced industry. “These are highly complex businessmen and women that are operating across, at some points, 30 to 60 miles of farmland, and all these different pieces of equipment in different areas,” John Deere’s Tech & Innovation Manager Franklin Peitz told PR Daily.

Influencer Farming: John Deere’s Bold Strategy To Redefine Agriculture’s Image 

Boasting 770,000 YouTube subscribers and tens of thousands of followers on Instagram and Twitter, Cogen is renowned for his cellphone reviews and tech-focused content. Moreover, he also harbors a deep passion for farming, ignited by his pandemic-period binge-watching of “Clarkson’s Farm”, the show featuring Top Gear star Jeremy Clarkson’s foray into agriculture.

The project, a first of its kind for the agricultural machinery giant, will see Cogen take charge of a 20-acre plot near Des Moines, Iowa, where he will plant, maintain, and ultimately harvest a corn crop.

“Welcome to Cogen’s Farm 😂 This small 20-acre piece of land just outside of Des Moines, Iowa is where, for the next 6 months or so, I will attempt to till, plant, spray, harvest and sell corn 🌽,” Cogen wrote as a caption to an Instagram post about the project.

Throughout the growing season, Cogen will document his experiences, challenges, and the technology employed in modern farming practices across his social media channels, including Instagram Reels and a longer-form video for YouTube.

“Regardless of whether I turn a profit or I don’t, the story is still there. And the things that I want to tell and show, it’s still interesting for people to see it. Because it’s thin margins. And rain could change everything. It’s just fascinating,” Cogen said, acknowledging the risks and uncertainties of agriculture.

While the influencer brings his tech-savvy online following, John Deere has also enlisted the expertise of Chelsey Erdmann, a seasoned North Dakota farmer and rancher with over 80,000 Instagram followers. Her job is to be Cogen’s mentor, guiding him through the intricacies of corn futures and the agricultural world.

The campaign represents John Deere’s efforts to transition from a traditional manufacturing company to a tech-driven enterprise. “We’ve gone through this tech journey to try to adapt ourselves from a traditional legacy manufacturing company to a tech company,” Peitz said.

This innovative approach allows John Deere to reach both urban audiences unfamiliar with modern farming practices and its core agricultural customer base. By bridging the gap between technology and agriculture, the company aims to cultivate a deeper understanding and appreciation for the innovation driving the modern farming industry.

As the growing season progresses, Cogen’s audience will witness firsthand the intricate interplay of cutting-edge technology, data-driven decision-making, and the age-old patterns of nature that define modern agriculture. 

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David Adler is an entrepreneur and freelance blog post writer who enjoys writing about business, entrepreneurship, travel and the influencer marketing space.

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