Pork is apparently no longer afraid of chicken.
At least that's what the National Pork Board's new advertising campaign suggests. After nearly 25 years of plugging pork as "The Other White Meat," the board's new "Pork, Be Inspired" tagline seeks a deeper connection with existing pork fans, while positioning the meat as an ingredient for a wide range of meals.
In short, the board wants the 82 million Americans who regularly eat pork to eat more pork.
"Our research shows that pork's top consumers are looking for more than basic education; they're looking for inspiration," Ceci Snyder, VP-marketing at the National Pork Board, said in a statement. "While our new target represents our biggest fans, we believe they have the potential and desire to enjoy pork more often -- and to inspire others to do the same." The new campaign, by Chicago-based Schafer Condon Carter, begins with digital ads on March 7 and a TV campaign April 11. Print ads, which also debut in April, will run in food and lifestyle magazines and seek to inspire meal ideas that include pork, including pork salad.
There's also a new logo -- the word "pork" against a blue backdrop -- and a website, porkbeinspired.com, that on Friday included a video of pork carnitas being prepared in a slow cooker.
Said Ms. Snyder: "To those that love pork, it requires no comparison to the other meats. The range of meals drives new ideas -- and appetites -- for pork."
The "Other White Meat" line is not being retired for good. The tagline will still be used on the website and in nutrition communications, the board said. The tagline was launched in 1987 to reverse a pork sales decline as chicken gained more attention. And the catchphrase -- which became one of the more recognizable lines in marketing -- worked. While chicken continued to gain ground, pork has held steady. Today pork represents about 36% of in-home meat meals (a category that includes beef, pork, chicken, seafood and turkey), about where it was in 1990, according to the NDP Group. In that time chicken rose from 15% to 24%.
So why change now? Gail Carter, a managing partner for Schafer Condon Carter, said the agency and the board through a yearlong research effort learned that pork's best opportunity for growth was talking to existing customers -- and a new message was needed. "They are heavy protein users [but] there was a lot more headroom that they could eat more pork," she said.