CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Twenty-five years after establishing one of the nation’s most iconic food brands, America’s beef farmers and ranchers are leveraging the strong equity of Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. to reintroduce the brand to a new generation of consumers. The relaunch will blend the strongest assets from the long-loved brand – such as the famous Aaron Copland “Rodeo” music and the famous tagline – and couple those with new creative assets. In total, the effort showcases the pleasure that beef brings to meals, the people who raise it and the nutritional benefits (such as protein) that beef provides.
“Consumers love beef, and as with all foods, today’s consumers want the whole story about the beef they buy.” said Alisa Harrison, senior vice president, Global Marketing and Research, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the beef checkoff, which funds the campaign. “Our research shows that the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. brand is still extremely popular among consumers, including millennials. So, in honor of its 25th Anniversary, we have refreshed the brand and updated our resources to make beef information available to consumers where they want it, when they want it and how they want it.”
The overall effort was designed with millennial media preferences in mind. The campaign launched October 9 with digital advertising and a new digital platform at www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com, a single, comprehensive location that provides an interactive experience on all things beef, from cuts and cookery, to a robust collection of beef recipes to an inside look at the lives of the people who raise beef.
“Beef is one of the most popular foods among consumers, whether it’s your favorite steak or burger. But it can also be one of the most confounding, with questions ranging from the right cut, to the right way to cook it to where it came from,” said Harrison. “That’s why we wanted to make beef easier to enjoy. We’re setting out to answer the biggest questions that consumers have about beef, all in one place.”
To launch the campaign, NCBA has produced an “anthem” video that features the familiar children’s song, “Old McDonald Had a Farm,” with a new twist, to celebrate the American tradition of ranching while shedding light on what’s new about raising food today. This summer, the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. team traveled more than 3,800 miles from coast to coast to capture video, images and the stories about the real people who raise beef. The new series of videos and content will feature only real farmers and ranchers from across the country. While cattle and beef are raised differently in California than in Florida, or Iowa or Washington, the passion and commitment to care for the animals and land is the same.
“The Utesch Family from Washta in northwest Iowa is featured in the new Rethink the Ranch campaign, which introduces consumers to the different segments of the beef industry.” comments Brooke German, Director of Marketing for the Iowa Beef Industry Council. “There are more than 700,000 cattle farm and ranches in the U.S., and Iowa is ranked seventh with more than 26,000 cattle farms.”
Harrison explained that through the video series, consumers will learn about each step of the beef production process, from the farms and ranches, to feedlots, to processing and retail and to the consumer.
“Today’s farmers and ranchers blend time-honored traditions with cutting edge innovations to raise beef, from drones and GPS tracking on the range to apps and other electronic tools that ensure precise and nutrient-filled rations in the feedbunk,” she said. Later in the year, new advertisements that celebrate beef’s unique qualities as a protein source will launch to appeal to consumers’ genuine love for beef, along with virtual tools such as 360 degree videos that show how beef goes from pasture to plate.
This all comes at a great time to enjoy beef. The recently completed National Beef Quality Audit, funded by the beef checkoff, shows a higher percentage of beef is grading Prime and Choice – the two highest grades USDA assigns – than it has in more than 35 years. Steak tenderness has achieved its best tenderness scores since testing began in 1990, according to the National Beef Tenderness Study.
German comments, “We will be extending this campaign to consumers in Iowa with our digital and traditional media tactics through the Beef Checkoff Program. Consumers will have the opportunity to not only learn about how cattle are raised to produce quality beef, but learn cooking tips and new recipes.”
To launch the campaign, NCBA is working with its new digital advertising agency of record, VML. VML created the new digital platform, BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.
“Digital is a powerful medium that turns marketing on its head because of the power given to the consumer. Instead of telling people what to think, digital platforms – whether it’s BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com or the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. Facebook page or Instagram feed – allow people to discover beef the way they want to,” Eric Baumgartner, VML executive vice president said.
To help launch the new Beef. It’s What For Dinner. brand, VML worked with NCBA to produce the “anthem” video and the series of beef producer videos, as well as designed the new brand logo.
To share the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. brand story through public relations and earned media efforts, Ketchum will continue to be NCBA’s public relations agency of record.
To learn more about the new digital platform, visit www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com.
— Iowa Beef Industry Council
The Beef Checkoff
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA)
For more on beef, click here.