'Don't be blah' Campaign Nets $2.23 ROI

US - After 33 months of action, the Pork Checkoff's 'The Other White Meat. Don't be blah' brand campaign has proved a success - in terms of consumer pull and economics.
calendar icon 19 March 2008
clock icon 4 minute read

By using a tool that was developed by private-sector and university agriculture economists in 2006, the Checkoff was able to measure the return on pork producers' investment.

"The Other White Meat. Don't be blah" brand campaign was launched in 2005 in six target markets: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Philadelphia, and Sacramento. In December 2006, Denver and Sacramento were dropped as target markets. Houston and St. Louis were added as target markets in May 2007.

The campaign employs a variety of advertising and promotion tactics designed to increase pork sales by helping to position pork as a solution to the everyday meal rut today's cooks fall into. At the end of 33 months of activity, it is being evaluated with awareness, image and impact measures. The Checkoff also measured changes in consumer expenditures that are attributable to Pork Checkoff promotion, advertising and public relations.

Evaluated Investments

"By evaluating this campaign, producers are able to see the results from their Checkoff investments," said Lynn Harrison, a Wisconsin pork producer who is president of the National Pork Board. "It also allows the National Pork Board to be more efficient in the allocation of limited funds."

The overall evaluation of the "Don't be blah" program started with a consumer brand-tracking study that found that awareness of The Other White Meat's advertising has increased significantly since the start of the campaign. In addition, within the target markets, there has been an increase in upbeat descriptions of pork such as "spirited, energetic, confident and approachable." The brand-tracking study also found that a positive change in perception and behavior has occurred. Those aware of the brand campaign have significantly higher ratings for The Other White Meat than those not aware.

"These were all specific goals of the 'Don't be blah' campaign," said John Green, strategic marketing director for the Pork Checkoff. "But it is the impact or purchase, where producers can really see their return on investment."

The tool that was developed in 2006 focused on calculating per capita pork expenditures as a way of measuring the impact of the integrated campaign activity in the target markets.

The economists were able to track actual pork sales in the target markets using pork-package bar-code data collected from retail stores. From March 2005 to November 2007, the entire length of the 'Don't be blah' campaign, the program generated over $103.3 million in total pork sales at the retail level.

Over the same time period, the producer share of retail dollars was 29.72 percent according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Based on these figures, for every $1 producers invested in the program, producers received a return of $2.23.

Solid Results

"There is a track record of solid results," said Green. "The results were consistent across markets that had provided a positive return in 2006."

"The target markets were originally created as a proof of concept, a test to see if pork sales would increase in a more efficient manner if we invested more dollars and increased frequency of messages," said Green. "In markets like Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas, we were rewarded with increased total revenues for pork. In the future, we need to look at target demographic areas that have similar consumption patterns as these cities to continue providing producers with a positive return on their Checkoff investment."

Building upon these successful results in the target markets, the :Don't be blah" campaign will go national this year. Through a combination of high visibility print and online advertising, the Checkoff will contemporize pork and promote it to a new, younger generation for maximum impact.

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