John Deere, best known for its agricultural machinery and iconic slogan, "Nothing Runs Like a Deere," has just leaped like a deer into social media with the “Can Do” Project.
The brand is constructing a combine out of cans, using upwards of 300,000 cans of food and replicating a full-sized S-690 Combine, the world’s most powerful combine that can harvest over 350 acres of grain a day.
The cans are being collected via a Facebook drive with support from Hy-Vee Food Stores, and the completed sculpture will be 60 feet wide, 80 feet long and 16 feet tall weighing about 170 tons and exhibited at the John Deere Pavilion in downtown Moline, Illinois.
The “Can Do” initiative is designed to raise awareness of the key role farmers and ranchers play in producing enough food for a growing world population. All the food will be donated to the River Bend Foodbank when the sculpture is dismantled, just in time for Thanksgiving.
"With the global population expected to increase from 7 billion to more than 9 billion by 2050, farmers will need to increase food production by 70 percent while using the same amount of land, water and other resources," stated Nicole Schneider, project manager, communications for John Deere Agriculture & Turf. "New equipment technologies, like the John Deere S-Series Combine, are important tools in helping farmers meet that demand."
User engagement is a key part of the campaign and all consumers are asked to do is create a virtual can. “Anyone interested in participating can go to the John Deere Facebook page to submit their name and a photograph, which will be wrapped around their virtual personalized food can as part of a virtual sculpture,” comments Richard Williamson, art director for John Deere Ag and Turf.
In addition to the “design a can app” on Facebook, there’s a live steaming video feed of the project's construction as the sculpture is assembled for a November 17 reveal and anticipation of breaking a Guinness World Record for “the world’s largest canned food sculpture.” A team from the Chicago-based architectural firm, RTKL, John Deere employees and 450 volunteers are assisting with the project.
Deere & Company was started by John Deere in Rutland, Vermont, in 1804, and moved to Grand Detour, Illinois in 1836 in order to escape bankruptcy. An accomplished blacksmith, it was Deere's cast-steel plow, a better alternative to iron or wooden plows, was key in the migration to the Great Plains in the late 19th and early 20th century.
This year, the John Deere brand debuted on Interbrand's Best Global Brands list, at #97. Always embracing core values of integrity, quality, commitment, and innovation, Deere’s compassion shone through as revealed in an episode of "Made in America" profiling Deere & Company; they did not repossess any farmer’s equipment during the Great Depression.
As feeding the world is the farmer’s mission, John Deere’s “Can Do” Project is a brand’s best use of social media to create awareness, give back and feed hearts and souls at harvest season.