30 September 2022
By Elaine Murphy
This week the National Dairy Council have a new campaign called – ‘From the Ground Up’. The campaign highlights the hard work and commitment required by top athletes and dairy farmers to be top of their game. The NDC ads showcase Cork’s famous Olympic rower Paul O’Donovan – from Skibbereen Rowing Club – who recently won gold at the European Championships, and Vikki Wall, award-winning Meath GAA footballer, together with NDC Farm Ambassador, Tom Power.
This campaign sets out to bring balance to the argument – showcasing the hard work undertaken by our dairy farmers each day. Not only is the industry comprised of 17,500 family farms, but thanks to our grass-based production system, Ireland is one of the most sustainable dairy producers in the world. Irish dairy is enjoyed and celebrated the world over, just like our athletes.
Paul O’Donovan said “I am proud to be part of this new NDC ad campaign. As a farmer’s son, I grew up with Irish dairy and know the benefits it has in supporting a healthy balanced diet. As an athlete I know the immense hard work, dedication and commitment that it takes to be on top of your game and to win the medals. For farmers, it takes the same level of commitment to produce world class dairy 365 days a year in all conditions, that’s a real vocation”!
Zoë Kavanagh, CEO NDC said “This campaign celebrates Irish dairy farmers as producers of nutritious products which are enjoyed on and off the field of play. The commitment and dedication of our sports stars and dairy farmers have many parallels, ultimately leading to great outcomes”
There are lots of parallels that can be drawn between athletes and farmers. It starts with the right ingredients, hard work, effort and passion 365 days a year to deliver a world class food product. In the same way that producing world class dairy mirrors the processes of elite athletes. It begins from the ground up, from good foundations. Like our athletes, our farmers stay grounded while performing on the world stage of top food production.
NDC Farm Ambassador Tom Power from Waterford said, “I am proud to be part of this NDC ad as part of the From the Ground Up campaign. There is often a disconnect between the farm where milk is produced and the shop where it is bought, and the more opportunities we get to tell real farm stories, the more consumers will understand the commitment and hard graft that it takes to produce high quality Irish dairy products. Irish farm families are so proud of the products we produce, we are the driving force behind producing world class dairy products that people want to purchase and are a key part of a healthy, modern lifestyle – the demand for which just keeps increasing. We need to continue to find opportunities to tell our story and this campaign is setting a great example”.
The series of 30’ and 60’ spots showcases in a highly visual and emotive way the hard work and commitment from Paul, Vikki and Tom to succeed in their various disciplines. For athletes that can be skill, determination and hard work. For farmers it’s the care for the animals and understanding the land.
As part of the campaign, Paul and Vikki were also interviewed by Irish dairy farmer and TikTok’er, John Halton in a light-hearted, slightly tongue in cheek series, Athletes in Tractors Getting Milk. The quirky content series was inspired by the US series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, hosted by Jerry Seinfeld. As the NDC understands the importance of connecting with the young urban consumer around dairy, we have created this engaging content, set on a real-life Irish dairy farm where the conversation can go anywhere from training regimes to grassland management. The content really gives an insight into the challenges of training to be a top-class athlete and working 24/7 to farm the land – 100% commitment and determination on both sides!