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Going Hog Wild

Client: Western Idaho Fair

Fueled by: Media, Creative, Strategy, Social Media, Digital, Sponsorship & Development

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No annual event is quite like the action-packed thrill ride, blue-ribbon barnburner, chow-down playground, and memory-making extravaganza that is the Western Idaho Fair. Especially when you go behind the scenes. This is where CLM works wonders to help this massive production go off without a hitch. The Fair has been our client for 20 years and counting. We even have a dedicated office at Fair HQ during the height of the season. Over 270,000 attendees make hay at the Western Idaho Fair nowadays. As this grand affair grows bigger and bigger in audience and scope over the course of its 125-year history, CLM goes above and beyond to let the good times roll.

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Over 20 years ago, the Fair first came to the budding agency CLM for media buying and placement only. Becki Woodbury—then our media director and now our executive director—was raised in 4H and the state fair business. She made a natural fit as a temporary (then permanent) replacement when the Fair’s marketing director left over a decade ago. In the ensuing years, as we’ve rolled up our sleeves to help the Fair solve any gap that cropped up, our relationship has blossomed into a full-service marketing and sponsor coordination partnership. We’ve always been fueled by the common sense motto that “when you deliver, clients will trust you more.” Now working under an embedded model that includes operating out of Fair HQ to help run the show in the height of the season, we do it all. Media. Marketing campaigns. PR and social media. Sponsorship selling. Even setting up the parties and promotion for the concert series. We’ve won countless awards for our work at the International Association of Fair & Expositions. And CLM, in league with the Western Idaho Fair, has been selected time after time to inform and elevate other fairs with the how-tos of outstanding marketing practices.

TV & Radio

What happens when you take cartoon character drawings and bring them to life? Well, you give them their own trailer for a sitcom of course. A cocky chicken and glamourous llama had quite the time strutting their stuff around fair and showing off for the camera. But seriously, the fair mascots bring a great deal of joy to fair patrons and children alike when they’re not living their best life “going all Hollywood” or on radio talk shows.

Advance Tickets Radio

Going On Now Radio

Social Media

They always say “know your audience,” but what if some of that audience has four legs? CLM knows, because we implement all of the Fair’s social channels (and we can type faster than a goat). From weaving in stories to straight-up disseminating information, we’ve got this and it shows. The character campaign won Outstanding Social Media Campaign at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions in 2019. It doesn’t hurt that we increased campaign reach and engagement by 150%.

See the Sites

We were here before the internet. Well, sort of. The Fair was a client before they even had a website. We’ve loved helping them build a web presence, then revisioning it time and time again to keep up with the, well, changing times. For our latest version, we focused on clear navigation, bright colors, and playful copy to take visitors on a ride.

Character Building

Every summer, a whole new world springs up on the fairgrounds. It’s a colorful wonderland rich with wild rides, food on a stick, throwback concerts, crafty exhibits, magical performers, and creatures great and small. To showcase the many sides of the Fair, we created real personalities in the form of 9 cartoon animal characters. Like Ferris Fowler—an adrenaline junkie who loves the carnival (he’s no chicken). Or Charley Horse—a shaggy-haired rocker who jams out at the throwback concerts. Or Fleece Woolerspoon, a dyed-in-the-wool knitter crafting for blue ribbon glory. We engaged local illustrator Julie Pegan to bring the characters to life framed by fitting scenes. We then created trading cards and life-size cardboard cutouts to attract people to all the varied happenings at the Fair. We even turned four characters into real-life mascots that playfully roam the grounds and thrill kids and adults alike. (They even starred in one of our award-winning TV spots in the style of a 1980s sitcom.)

Ferris Fowler
Bunnie o'Hare
Kid Flock
Peggy Banks
Fleece Woolerspoon
Bo Vine
Shanna Llama
Charley Horse
Holly Stein

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In our time with the Fair, they’ve achieved some remarkable feats to rival high-wire acrobats. Like the highest attendance numbers, time and time again. This jam-packed achievement is enhanced by people staying longer, spending more, and the Fair reaching record attendance for more days than ever. We’ve also seen the highest grossing carnival and food sales (a record maker on repeat year after year). Plus, our playful, community-engaging, and wide-ranging campaigns have won countless creative awards. Though for us, our biggest achievement is the relationship we’ve built with the Fair. We’re a true partner—in it to win it when everything’s riding on a thousand moving parts coming together to pull off this celebrated summer hurrah. Like the best jugglers, we don’t drop the ball, and make the entire showcase a real wonder to behold.

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