Catfish campaign pushes health, economic pluses

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Chef Cat Cora appears in creative for the campaign
Chef Cat Cora appears in creative for the campaign

In the 1980s, August was designated as National Catfish Month by Congress to pay tribute to the contributions the US catfish industry makes to the econ­omy. To celebrate this month, The Cat­fish Institute, the marketing arm of the US Farm-Raised Catfish industry, is running a new ad campaign featur­ing three farmers who raise catfish in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi — this year's Catfish Farmers of the Year.

The creative includes images of a farmer — either John Williamson, a farmer in Alabama; Arkansas' Charles Robb, a/k/a “Catfish Charlie;” or Harris Russell, from Mississippi — next to a catfish pond bank, alongside Food Network celebrity chef and catfish industry spokesperson Cat Cora. The ads aim to illustrate the rela­tionship between the chef and the farmer. The campaign is aimed to build aware­ness of the benefits of eating farm-raised domestic catfish, including good health, and supporting the US economy.

“We're trying to show the relationship between the farmer and the chef, and how chefs rely on the farmers to provide them with high-quality catfish,” said Jeremy S. Robbins, account executive at The Ramey Agency, which designed the campaign. “Even though the economy is present­ing a challenge to the agricultural seg­ment, consumers care more about the quality of the food that they eat. [So,] the catfish segment remains steady.”

The push will kick off this month with e-mails and print ads. E-mails will be sent out to the organization's in-house list as well as to members of the Culi­nary Institute of America. Print ads will run in national magazines including Cook­ing With Paula Deen, Saveur and Food Arts.

The Catfish Institute currently runs ban­ner ads on the FoodNetwork.com and FoodService.com to promote US farm-raised catfish. This creative will be rolled out on these sites later in the campaign, which will run until year's end.

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