Minnesota egg farmer hatching plans for Super Bowl debut

  • Article by: DAVID PHELPS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 12, 2013 - 10:56 PM

Touting the slogan “local chicks are better,” a Minnesota egg company hopes to win a contest to land its ad in the Super Bowl.

 

What does a 2,500-chicken egg farm in northeastern Minnesota have in common with the Super Bowl?

Nothing yet. But that could change.

The Locally Laid Egg Co. of Wrenshall, Minn., whose slogan is “Local chicks are better,” is one of four finalists for a 30-second spot in the advertising mecca that surrounds the NFL title game early next year.

The contest is sponsored by Intuit, the small-business software company, which is conducting an online poll to determine a winner. The prize is exposure to more than 100 million viewers in an advertising spot valued at about $4 million. Voting started Monday and concludes Dec. 1. The finalists can be found at smallbusinessbiggame.com.

Jason Amundsen and his wife, Lucie, operate the Locally Laid Egg Co., which features pasture-raised chickens in a process designed to produce eggs that are lower in cholesterol and fat.

They also have an egg operation in Iowa that serves the Twin Cities and plan on opening a third farm shortly.

All the attention is heady stuff for a native of Edina who entered the egg business just over a year ago after successive jobs as a grant writer for nonprofit organizations were eliminated.

“I told my wife if we wanted some sort of stability we would have to step out on a limb,” Amundsen said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

Amundsen credited a grandfather who could fix anything plus his own stint in the U.S. Army as inspiration for his foray into egg farming.

“Growing up in the suburbs you don’t have an appreciation for the manual skills needed to do this,” he said.

On his video, which was produced by Duluth videographer Beau Walsh, Amundsen is shown sitting in a fenced-in pasture with dozens of hens foraging around him.

“Our hens are all named Lola,” Amundsen says to the camera. “That’s right, she’s a sassy chicken.”

Exposure during the Super Bowl would be huge for both Locally Laid Egg and Intuit, said Mike Caguin, chief creative officer for the Minneapolis ad agency Colle+McVoy.

“It provides credibility with customers and consumers and instant awareness,” Caguin said. “It gives you 108 million viewers and a little fame.”

The Locally Laid Egg Co. is not the first Minnesota outfit to have a shot at a Super Bowl commercial. In 2010, Twin Cities filmmakers Ben Krueger and Cole Koehler won $25,000 from Doritos for their 30-second ad called “Snack Attack Samurai.” In 2012, local filmmakers Eric Sturm, Michael Yamerchk and Erik Sudheimer made the final cut but not the Super Bowl for their lighthearted Chevrolet “Everyday Hero” ad.

For all the attention Amundsen has received in the past week — “It’s been staggering” — he said he hopes that a message accompanies his farm’s sudden fame.

“We’re the underdog in this race but it gives us the opportunity to get more small and midsize companies producing food for their local communities,” said the 41-year-old farmer.

  • related content

  • Locally Laid Egg Company small business owner Jason Amundsen shows off a pasture-raised egg from one of his ëLolaí hens in Wrenshall, Minn., Monday, Nov. 4, 2013. Jason was named a finalist for Intuitís Small Business Big Game competition, which will award a 30-second television advertisement that will air during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2. (Photo by Craig Lassig/Invision for Intuit, Inc./AP Images)

  • Jason Amundsen and Lola of the Locally Laid Egg Co. have a chance of being seen on a 30-second TV ad.

  • Scene from Laid Egg Company video promoting its pasture-raised hens that forage and exercise in fields.

  • Screen grab from Locally Laid Egg company video promoting the company's pasture-raised eggs from hens who forage and exercise on green fields. The company is one of four finalists in a competition from Intuit to win a 30 second commercial during the Super Bowl. Two of the companies videos are available on YOUTUBE. Credit: Locally Laid Egg Company. http://www.locallylaid.com/whats-pasture-raised-anyway/

  • Screen grab from Locally Laid Egg company video promoting the company's pasture-raised eggs from hens who forage and exercise on green fields. The company is one of four finalists in a competition from Intuit to win a 30 second commercial during the Super Bowl. In this frame, Jason Amundsen, Locally Laid‚Äôs " Head Clucker" talks announces to the chickens that they are finalists in the Intuit competition. Two of the companies videos are available on YOUTUBE. Credit: Locally Laid Egg Company. http://www.locallylaid.com/whats-pasture-raised-anyway/

  • A video promotes the company’s pasture-raised eggs.

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