LINCOLN, Neb. – Big Ten Network viewers, meet Mike. Mike is the animated star of a new advertising campaign initiated by the Nebraska Corn Board. He’s a smart guy who cares about his car and its engine performance. In these 15-second and 30-second television commercials, a narrator describes why Mike chooses clean-burning, high-performing E15, which is a fuel choice blended with 15 percent American Ethanol.

In order to maximize the frequency and reach of the commercials on the Big Ten Network, the Nebraska Corn Board partnered with the corn checkoff boards from Iowa, Illinois, Ohio and Kansas to amplify overall exposure. The collaboration also helps establish consistent ethanol messaging between major corn producing states.

“We’ve been working for a number of years to develop and implement a campaign on the Big Ten Network,” said Dave Merrell, farmer from St. Edward and chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board. “BTN has a loyal following across the nation. With this widespread coverage, we’re able to reach parts of the country that may have the infrastructure for higher ethanol blends, but don’t necessarily have the advertising budgets to educate consumers.”

“Consumers are seeing more choices at the pump, which is great, but it can also be confusing,” said Paul Jeschke, farmer from Mazon, Illinois, and chairman of the Illinois Corn Marketing Board. “With this campaign, we chose to focus on E15, which can be used to fuel most cars on the road today and can be found at more than 1,300 fuel stations across the country.”

A website was also created to complement the television spots. On this website, motorists can provide their location to identify E15 fueling stations near them. The website is available by visiting

“As corn states, we all have the similar goal to enhance demand for our farmers,” said Duane Aistrope, farmer from Randolph, Iowa, and president of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board. “Ethanol has been a huge driver of corn demand, and there is still so much potential for more growth. There are also so many benefits for consumers to fill up with more homegrown fuel that’s safe for their engines and better for our environment. We hope this campaign will encourage consumers to fuel up with higher blends of ethanol.”

The E15 television commercials began airing in January 2018 during the men’s basketball season and will continue to air through the next seasons of football and volleyball. In addition to the airings on the college sports network, the spots will be added to local network and cable channels. To view the 30-second commercial, click on the video below.


The Nebraska Corn Board is funded through a producer checkoff investment of ½-cent-per-bushel checkoff on all corn marketed in the state and is managed by nine farmer directors. The mission of the Nebraska Corn Board is to promote the value of corn by creating opportunities.


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