Wilbur-Ellis, a $4 billion agriculture, animal food and specialty chemicals holding company, turned to Peppercomm to help with the company’s 100th anniversary in June 2021. Plans were underway well before the anniversary with a yearlong campaign (from June 2020 to June 2021) to engage employees, customers, partners, and suppliers with activations online and offline in key geographies across North America and Asia-Pacific. But when the Coronavirus pandemic hit in early 2020, we had to quickly shift plans to accommodate new realities.


In light of the pandemic, we knew that the celebration needed to be about supporting our communities, something Wilbur-Ellis had always done throughout its history. Rather than use funds for celebrations and gifts, we focused the anniversary on a yearlong Giving Program for kids and adults to benefit the Red Cross, a long-time charity partner now focused on Covid-19 relief efforts. To engage internal and external audiences around this effort, we launched the WE ARE ONE (HUNDRED) campaign to help spread the message of both our anniversary and charitable efforts.

WE ARE ONE was an omni-channel campaign that came to life via microsite, video, interactive storytelling, paid social, digital advertising and a livestream event. Our 100th Anniversary content drove 94% of the new users to the Wilbur-Ellis website over the past year, resulting in corresponding increases in pageviews and sessions. Paid social media advertisements generated more than 5.3 million impressions and acted as a driver for submissions to the Giving Program. As a result of the Giving Program, Wilbur-Ellis raised $52,000 for the Red Cross, building on the company’s $100,000 donation in 2020 – and raised an additional $30,000 to benefit food charities around the world. Employees of this essential business reported feeling more  connected through the Giving Program and proud to be part of this family-owned business.


As Wilbur-Ellis looked back at history during the celebration, we also looked ahead to what the world needs for the next 100 years. As a company dedicated to providing ingredients for the world to thrive, the company is focused on new ways to feed a growing population. With this in mind, at the end of the celebration year, we announced a new competition for undergraduate and graduate students. This new Innovation Award will offer prizes of $25,000+ for the best ideas for sustainably feeding the world.