What if your job was selling potatoes? Literally. Over at the US Potato Board. Do you think you’d be bored?

I’ll come back to potatoes in a moment, because I just saw a potato marketing campaign and website that blew me away. But I’ll admit that I’ve never met a french fry (‘chips’ to our readers throughout the British Empire) that I didn’t like.

First, a point about boredom. Reading Roger’s comments yesterday about the Sea of Sameness, I got to thinking that maybe the reason there’s so much un-distinctive (or unremarkable, as Seth Godin would put it) creative work or campaign concepts these days is simply … fundraiser boredom.

Day after day, tote that bag, haul that line.

If you’re bored with your job, what options do you have?

One, look at yourself. Re-charge, get a grip, decide to shake things up. And do it. Because you care.

Two, look at your organization. Blame it (rightly or wrongly). Leave. Hey, there are plenty of better fundraising jobs out there.

Three. Don’t look at all. Just mark time with same old/same old. Because you don’t care or are just too worn-out.

Hopefully, you are not one of the fundraising bored.

But if you are (and even if you just want a hit of inspiration) read about the marketing campaign of the US Potato Board (USPB)! If they can make selling potatoes so creative and yes, fun, be ashamed if you can’t do more to make your cause or mission come alive.

USPB’s mission: “This year, we’re going into head-on battle with the myth that potatoes are fattening,” says Meredith Myers, PR manager for USPB. Battling myths … sign me up!

Their ‘Hungry Girl’ campaign includes a daily email service with more than 1.2 million subscribers — that’s right, 1,200,000 consumers getting a daily email about potatoes, with a 40%-60% open rate. A website drawing more than 1 million visitors per month. A hit cooking show airing on both the Food Network and the Cooking Channel. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest. A diet book and videos.

And a wildly popular spokesperson, Lisa Lillien, better known via her Hungry Girl avatar.

Go ahead, feast yourself on “Guilt-Free Potato Goodness” on the Hungry Girl website.

Then consider, if the folks at USPB can bring this much pizazz to selling the lowly, misunderstood potato, couldn’t you be doing so much more to bring fresh life to marketing your cause or charity?

Or quit. Or hire Meredith Myers. But don’t just mark time.

Tom

 

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