R/GA's Chicago office has been named the lead agency for Beef Checkoff, the program that beef farmers and ranchers contribute dollars to in order to fund marketing for the beef industry.
Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett had the business since 1992, and was responsible for the well-known "Beef. It's What's for Dinner" tagline, which came out the same year Burnett won the business and remains the tagline to this day. Leo Burnett stopped working with the group in September, and did not participate in the review.
Interpublic's R/GA will be responsible for all creative and media planning and buying, and will be responsible for reaching older Millennial consumers through an increased focus on digital. The "Beef. It's what's for dinner" website already has content on it, including a number of recipes, as well as nutrient information.
But Jeff Brecker, VP-managing director at R/GA Chicago, said that Beef Checkoff is "changing their approach," and future work from the agency will include a significant content push, including social media, videos and "content that can live in multiple places." He declined to detail what the messaging will be.
"We were incredibly impressed with the level of thinking that R/GA Chicago brought to the agency-of-record pitch," said Cevin Jones, chair of the Beef Checkoff's Domestic Consumer Preference Committee and a rancher from Eden, Idaho. "The agency's innovative ideas and collaborative attitude reflected exactly what we were looking for. We felt that R/GA uniquely understood our perspective and were willing to go the distance for beef. We're excited to see how the agency brings the 'Beef. It's What's For Dinner' campaign to life in new and relevant new ways."
Though beef ads appeared on TV in the years following the "Beef. It's what's for dinner" introduction in 1992, the focus gradually shifted to radio spots and print ads. In 2012, less than $500,000 was allocated in measured media spending, according to Kantar Media, nearly all of which was for magazines. In 2011, $3.1 million total was spent, almost exclusively on magazine ads.
The Beef Checkoff program, along with other commodity checkoff programs, is overseen by the United States Department of Agriculture. Other famous campaigns of the checkoff programs include "Pork. The other white meat," "The incredible, edible egg" and "Milk. It does a body good."