The Problem with the CWB Steamroller Campaign

Forget about the fact that the CWB’s SteamRoller campaign cost $1.4 million from the POOL account, forget about the fact it won’t stop the Ritz government and forget about the fact most farmers struggle to see the point.  The real problem with tha campaign was brought to my attention while I was in Toronto this week.

I had a conversation with a friend of mine that runs an advertising agency in agriculture.  He said that the campaign is clearly not designed to target farmers but instead urban people.  Last weekend the CWB was handing out pamphlets in Toronto subway stations.  How many farmers are grabbing a subway at Union Station to head back to the farm after a hard day at work?  The commercial has been on TSN and other major networks which have much more of an urban audience than rural.

If you have not seen the CWB steamroller commercial I have embedded it below.

If you cannot see the embedded video click here

The problem is that if the campaign was created to impact the urban population then the visuals in the ad have failed.  My friend  mentioned that most people in Toronto will have no idea that the steamroller is not a combine and therefore they will not be impacted by the suggestion that Prime Minister Harper is steamrolling our crops and farmers.  If you grew up in downtown Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver you really have no idea what a combine even looks like.  The campaign was designed to impact farmers but it appears that the target market was really going to be the urban population and that makes it an epic fail.


Shaun Haney

Shaun Haney is the founder of He creates content regularly and hosts RealAg Radio on Rural Radio 147 every weekday at 4:30 PM est. @shaunhaney


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Anna Maria

Considering there has been over 29,000 people sign-up and the ad has only been playing for 2 weeks, I would not consider the response to be failed.

The advertisement has been playing on the Business TV programs and during the supper news broadcasts, which farmers do watch. As for urban appeal – for the message to be heard, they still need numbers. Even if all farmers in Canada signed in their support it would not turn heads as we farmers represent less than 3% of the Canadian population. So I say kudos to the advertisement appeal to both rural and urban viewers.


They are just targeting the people that gave the Conservatives their first majority. Ritz says he has a mandate to dismantle the CWB because of all these urban votes. It wasn’t western Canadian farmers that gave them their majority.


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