FileMaker, an Apple subsidiary that provides custom app development software, is so powerful it can make a root vegetable farm successful, even when said farm staffed by notoriously unmotivated workers.
In a new campaign beginning this week, the company tells the story of how a farm achieved success through an app developed via FileMaker. Though the story is based in reality, the fictional farm portrayed in the campaign is run by characters played by Kate Flannery, Leslie David Baker and Paul Lieberstein (better known as Meredith, Stanley and Toby from “The Office”).
“We knew we wanted it to be something recognizable because we knew using them would give a bit of trust with a new audience,” Aram Rappaport, founder at agency Boathouse, says of the casting. “The familiar faces in a new environment would [encourage] people to want to know more.”
The video depicts a news reporter investigating the farm’s success. As she interviews the workers, she uncovers most of the success is due to the farm’s app, which helps manage the worker load, categorize the characteristics of the vegetables (i.e., “Funny Beet” or “Crabby Rutabaga”), and manage delivery. By the end of the video, the players are surprised to learn that their little farm is worth millions. (And the reporter has missed that the rest of the farm’s staff seems to be all clones of one worker.)
“FileMaker is not just one thing. It’s a platform that gives you the keys to the kingdom of your business,” Rappaport tells Marketing Daily. “Once people learn about this and use it, they're a repeat customer for life.”
The campaign comes at a fortuitous time, as there has been speculation that NBC is looking to re-boot its former hit with some of the original cast. That speculation, however, had no bearing on the campaign, Rappaport says. (It’s also worth noting that Rainn Wilson, whose character, Dwight, had a beet farm on the side, does not appear in the campaign.)
“We have no idea if these actors are gong to be a part of that, and we hadn’t aligned with that,” Rappaport says. “It’s certainly exciting from a pop culture standpoint; it’s nice to know we’ve tapped into something.”
The video will appear in social networks and on business media sites to appeal to business executives. In addition to the video, there is a dedicated microsite exploring the ins and outs of the farm. The entire campaign (which also prominently displays FileMaker’s connection to Apple) is a departure for the company as it moves from a less tactical approach to one of brand building, says Ann Monroe, vice president of worldwide marketing at FileMaker.
“We wanted to start a national conversation about FileMaker,” Monroe says. “We want to reach problem solvers throughout their day, and we want to connect with them.”