MARS HILL, Maine — An Aroostook County potato farmer is part of a national television commercial campaign created by Lay’s Potato Chips.
Darrell McCrum of the Maine Potato Alliance is a fifth-generation farmer who has grown potatoes for Lay’s for more than 23 years.
He now is one of five potato growers from across the country who were selected for the “Lay’s Local” commercial campaign that emphasizes the significance of locally grown potatoes. The campaign will spotlight the importance of what Lay’s Potato Chips officials say is “a vital sector of the nation’s agricultural work force.”
McCrum, of Mars Hill, and the other growers, who are from Texas, Florida, Michigan and California, were in New York on Tuesday to help the Lay’s brand team kick off the campaign by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
“We had a great time today,” McCrum said Tuesday afternoon. “It was a pretty exciting day and it was great to see the Stock Exchange. We also did the commercial shoot.”
McCrum estimates he has sold 2,300 trailer loads of potatoes to Lay’s since he has been in business with them, and the company pointed out that each bag of chips purchased is made with locally or regionally grown potatoes.
“While Lay’s Potato Chips have been one of the most popular snacks since they were introduced, what people might not realize is how many communities across the country play a role in the creation of America’s favorite potato chip,” Dave Skena, Frito-Lay North America vice president of potato chip marketing, said in a writ-ten statement. “The truth is we are closer to home than people might expect and we felt it was only fitting to put the spotlight on these people and communities and celebrate the contributions they’ve made to the Lay’s brand.”
Together with the national and regional television spots, the “Lay’s Local” campaign will include a marketing effort that celebrates the local connections of the brand through national print advertising, on-pack messaging and 40,000 in-store displays customized for each participating state.
More than 80 farms from 27 states across the country grow the potatoes that become Lay’s Potato Chips, according to the company’s Web site. In 2008 alone, the brand used more than 2 billion pounds of potatoes from these farmers.
McCrum was headed back to Mars Hill on Wednesday.
The television campaign will launch on Monday, May 18.