The press release caught my attention. Who didn't grow up with Crayola crayons? Who didn't start with that fat-finger 8-pack then graduate to the 16 or the 24, only to envy that kid with the three-tier 64 pack with the sharpener? Now that familiar brand has a new partner and it's orange.
Kubota Tractor Corporation and Crayola have announced a partnership aimed at inspiring "the next generation of business owners," according to the media announcement. But why is Kubota collaborating with this colorful brand? "We were looking for ways to connect to the younger generation," says Todd Stucke, senior vice president of marketing, product support and strategic products for KTC.
Stucke talked with Farm Progress about the collaboration and points out that Kubota is celebrating 50 years marketing equipment in the United States, and is involved in a number of programs from the Farmer Veteran Coalition to the Hometown Proud program. This latest collaboration will reach a different, and potentially future, customer. And while the Kubota line is diverse, Stucke brings it back to agriculture. "How do you influence the consumer for the betterment of our industry?" he asks. "We want to show the younger generation where their food comes from."
He adds that the Crayola brand has been around for a long time and the partnership will work to make Kubota an American household name. "This plants the Kubota seed to the next generation of equipment owners, and it creates community that supports our local dealers," he adds.
On site with Crayola and Kubota
Around the country, Crayola has created Crayola Experience family attractions and those will be transformed into "Kubota Machine Adventures" in a five-market national takeover that starts in Orlando in May. During the limited time takeovers the kids, and likely their parents, will engage in more than 20 hands-on activities featuring Kubota's familiar-to-farmers orange equipment including excavators, tractors, mowers and RTV utility vehicles. Those machines will be "at work" in the fictional Crayonville.
Stucke points out that Kubota serves a wide ranging demographic from hobby farmers to big farms, but also urban areas with mowers and other utility equipment. "We wanted to spread ourselves out a little bit and not put all our efforts into one place," he says.
He notes, for example, that the company is donating $600,000 to nonprofits and local communities for each geographic area the company serves. "Those are the types of things to show how we can tie to that local community," Stucke says.
Beyond the live Crayonville experience, the partnership includes some online interaction with Kubota in some creative experiences from home. Visitors to crayolaexperience.com/Kubota will be able to access free, downloadable Kubota-themed crafting activities and information about the takeover events. And yes, a visit to that site offers access to some free, downloadable coloring pages.
And educators will have access to classroom resources developed by Crayola Education and Kubota to inspire students to think of ways they can add their voices to community improvement plans. Kubota dealers will be able to engage with local schools, libraries and community centers and bring to life how machines and people can do more together in their community.
"This is how we can connect our industry and where our food and equipment comes from through our younger generation, and through creativity. That's my vision. It may be a lofty one," Stucke says.
He's planning on attending an experience site, as will Farm Progress, in the future.
The limited-time engagement will travel to Crayola Experience's five locations throughout the country. Here's a schedule:
- Orlando, Fla., May 17-June 18
- Mall of America, Bloomington, Minn., June 30-July 21
- Easton, Penn., Aug. 2-Sept. 12
- Plano, Texas, Sept. 27-Oct. 31
- Chandler, Ariz., Nov. 15-Dec. 31.
And Kubota plans to launch an online learning destination, kubotacountrykids.com, for kids and grownups in June 2022 (note the site is not live yet, though there is a placeholder)