July 10, 2013 — “Beef – It’s What’s For Dinner” continues to be the primary campaign for the beef industry but the promotion dollars are shrinking. This year’s consumer advertising budget is about $9 million, down from the $42 million the checkoff spent 21 years ago.
The effectiveness of the current campaign is measured through consumer market research. The checkoff measures how consumers think and feel about beef on a variety of attributes that represent key drivers for the beef like taste, nutrition, ease of use and more.
“Over time we found a strong uptick in the number of folks who feel better about beef and these positive associations are critical, especially in light of increasing beef prices,” Cattlemen’s Beef Board member Gary Sharp told DairyBusiness Radio.
Helping with the message is a new voice for beef. Through the years we have heard Robert Mitchum, James Garner, Sam Elliott and most recently Matthew McConaughey promote the beef message. The newest voice is film actor Garret Hedlund, who spent his early years on his father’s cattle operation in Roseau, Minnesota.
When Hedlund was 18 he landed a role in the film Troy, playing opposite Brad Pitt. He went on to work with other movie stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and Kirsten Dunst. “We’re excited about having him and he is humble about the position as the voice of beef,” Sharp said.
Consumers are receiving a consistent message. Each advertisement asks the question, “What’s your dinner made of?” which is answered by the nutritional benefits of beef.
“Each ad calls out an essential nutrient, like protein,” Sharp said. “The strip steak has lots of protein and your appetite’s attention.” Another ad reminds us that dinner with beef has the leanest, delicious iron known to man.
The ads also feature a wide array of ways to prepare beef and include dishes such as Korean-marinated flank steak, braised brisket street style tacos, and Mediterranean beef meatball kabobs. All of these nutritious and delicious recipes can be found at the Beef, It’s What’s For Dinner website.
Listen to Gary Sharp’s Interview here: