Pork Producers Reap Benefit of 'Don't Be Blah' Campaign

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The National Pork Board (NPB) here said the first nine months of pork's rebranding effort was a success and has yielded a positive return on investment.

NPB launched the campaign, "The Other White Meat. Don't Be Blah," in 2005 as an integrated marketing campaign in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Philadelphia and Sacramento. The campaign was designed to increase pork sales by positioning pork as an exciting solution to the everyday meal rut that today's cook falls into.

Success of the campaign was measured by awareness of the product, image of the brand and impact, or purchase. A consumer brand perception tracking study showed awareness of The Other White Meat advertising increased significantly since the start of the campaign, and within target markets, there was an increase in "upbeat" descriptions of pork. The study also found that those consumers who were aware of the brand campaign had significantly higher ratings for pork than those not aware.

Additionally, an analysis from Dr. Oral Capps Jr., an agricultural economist with Texas A&M University, illustrated the real impact of marketing efforts in the six target markets. The Deflated Per Capita Pork Expenditures measure that was developed is: Deflated Price x Quantity Per Person = Deflated Expenditures (or sales) Per Person. An economic analysis used with this measure accounted for variations in the marketplace.

"The targeted campaign program was successful in increasing retail sales for the at-home food market," said Capps, noting, "In all targeted cities, real per capita pork expenditures rose due to the program efforts."

For the analysis, Capps used weekly supermarket scanner data from Jan. 6, 2002, to Jan. 1, 2006, from FreshLook and Information Resources Inc. The data was reviewed on a monthly basis and combined with data pertaining to national pork expenditures and prices of beef, chicken, income, inflation and population.

"Over the period March 2005 to November 2005, the targeted program in the six markets generated between $17.2 million and $20.1 million in additional inflation-adjusted pork sales," Capps reported in his research findings. "Every $1 invested in the targeted campaign program yielded $4.22 in retail pork sales."

Karen Boillot, NPB's director of retail marketing for the National Pork Board, said the finds are both encouraging and exciting. "The aim of the National Pork Board with this campaign is to reach consumers about the opportunity pork offers - its ease of use, versatility and great taste. The campaign focus was to help consumers make pork a part of everyday life, not just an alternative to other proteins. This economic analysis proves we're moving the dial. That's exciting," Boillot said.

At the retail level, the Don't Be Blah campaign is modified to meet individual retail needs, which is one of the reasons it's been successful, Boillot contends. "Components such as magnetic signs and meatcase signage are customized to fit individual retailers. This specialized approach helps retailers connect with consumers about pork in store."

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