New Pork Message Encourages Younger Consumers to Not Be 'Blah'

National pork message focuses on marketing pork to those under 40 and with a busier lifestyle.

Over 90% of U.S. consumers recognize pork as "The Other White Meat." But now producers' checkoff money will be used to market pork not just as an alternative to chicken, but bring pork to the same level of usability as beef and pork for every day meals.

Pork's tagline will no longer be "The Other White Meat," but instead "Don't be blah." The national integrated approach hopes to present pork to consumers under 40 as a quick and exciting way to spice up the boring menu choices.

Dallas Hockman, National Pork Board vice president of demand enhancement, says the campaign is much more than just advertising but rather is an integrated campaign-all the way through food service. It was first rolled out on Feb. 27 during the Oscars in six cities across the country. Web site traffic increased from an average of 2,000 hits per day to 10,000 hits during the week following the promotional spots, Hockman reports.

Keep demand rolling strong

Former National Pork Board president and pork producer Craig Christiansen says that when pork producers saw the new campaign at the recent Pork Industry Forum held in Orlando, Fl., it instantly became the "buzz" of the rest of the event.

Pork producers profited greatly in 2004 thanks to strong demand. Hockman explains that the producer pork board sees 2005 as a perfect time to roll out the new, edgier campaign when consumer perception of pork is higher. "The whole campaign hopes to make pork more like chicken and beef," he says. Not in relationship to the taste, but in it's use. Instead of focusing pork as the center of the plate, such as creating more of an emphasis on the ingredients.

For instance, consumers buy chicken breasts and ground beef without knowing their final recipe selection. Hockman says the campaign wants to position pork in the fridge or freezer so that when consumers plan a meal, they'll have pork on hand.

Hockman says the "Don't be blah" tagline will be on meat case labels that will also show different ways to use different cuts of meat.

Poking fun at the "blah"

Each Don't be blah. element is different in execution yet linked together by the unexpected and humorous take on everyday life. The executions for this campaign are anything but blah.

One television spot, "Forbidden Love" tells of a love story between Pork Loin and Apricot - and the Lord Chicken Breast who forbids the romance. "Destiny on the High Sea," the second television spot, spoofs a familiar boat story. Captain Pork Cutlet and Ginger, a ginger root, star in this dramatic twist of fortune.

The national umbrella for the Don't be blah. launch includes the aforementioned TV spots, an online campaign, and a variety of print ads. The print ads will appear in leading consumer magazines such as People, Cooking Light, Good Housekeeping, Reader's Digest and Weight Watchers. "In Memoriam" notes the passing of Ethelda Shelton's long-lived tuna chow mein casserole. "Dinner Contract" provides a form for mothers to pledge new meal options featuring The Other White Meat in exchange for better table manners.

Most of the advertisements and educational messages will drive consumers to for information ranging from cooking recommendations to recipes.

The online campaign will feature ad units that stream the two TV spots, as well as several different "push to talk" executions. This "push to talk" technology allows users to place humorous phone calls to friends and family with a prerecorded voice message encouraging them to shake up their mealtime routine.


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