Straight Talk
“Good to the last drop”

We’ve all heard them…product slogans. Some slogans or advertising taglines help express positive attributes of a product, such as Maxwell House’s “Good to the last drop,” Kentucky Fried Chicken’s “Finger-lickin’ good,” and M&M’s “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.” Others express an idea, like Nike’s “Just do it.”

Whatever the purpose, slogans are a great way to introduce a product. The National Pork Board recently launched a new slogan, “Pork Be Inspired.” CeCi Snyder, Vice President of Domestic Marketing at the National Pork Board, provides some insight on the change.

1. Why did the Pork Board change its slogan from “The Other White Meat” to “Pork Be Inspired”?

“We still use ‘The Other White Meat’ with health professionals and as a ‘heritage’ brand on our Web site. All our research showed that ‘The Other White Meat’ conveyed nutrition, which was the intention, but stopped short of motivating consumers to buy more pork. ‘The Other White Meat’ had become so expected that no one was paying attention. We now use ‘Pork Be Inspired’ in our marketing because consumer research showed it communicated what our best consumers thought about pork – that pork is versatile and allows creativity in the kitchen. ‘The Other White Meat’ is a rational message and ‘Pork Be Inspired’ is an emotional message. We needed that emotional push to better connect to our consumer.”

2. How many slogans has the Pork Board had, and which has been the most memorable with consumers?

“There were a few before ‘The Other White Meat’ was introduced in 1987 and some variations that followed. It is hard to compare to a slogan that is used for 20 years. Most important is how well sales are improved.”

3. The current slogan “Pork Be Inspired” was launched in a weak economic period. Was there any concern about the timing?

“The best time to gain market share is when your competitors are pulling back. Certainly risks exist with any change, but the results so far point to ideal timing and a positive message that gives our target consumer new ideas for eating pork.”

4. What factors affect the success and failure of a slogan?

“A slogan is only as good as the marketing and budget that support it. In today’s marketplace, a slogan can be a call to action, but even more important is well-planned integrated marketing (advertising, social media, public relations, retail marketing, food-service marketing) that aligns with a customer need.”

5. Have you seen an uptick in pork sales that are related to introduction of the new slogan?

“The first half of 2011 was excellent in terms of US pork consumer expenditures, which is a measure of both the volume and value of pork sold at retail. Pork demand, as measured by the demand index, was positive overall in 2011. The current challenge is the escalation of domestic pork prices. So far, consumers have been willing to pay more for pork.”

6. In general, how do you measure the success of a slogan?

“Our success should be measured in domestic demand or sales. Of course, the Pork Checkoff can’t control supply, but we want producers to earn as much for their product (either internationally or domestically) as possible. The Checkoff cannot promise profitability, but we can improve the desire for consumers to want pork at their meals, even with high prices. Slogans are less important than the entire marketing plan. In addition, we are attempting to align with packers even more to provide a synergistic effort.”

7. How do you know when it’s time to “sunset” a slogan?

“When consumers tell you it will not help them buy your product.”

8. What has been the reaction by producers and consumers (are they different) to the new slogan?

“For some producers who heard those two words in isolation, they were skeptical. However, for producers at our annual meeting, they were able to see the music and visuals that work to covey ‘Pork Be Inspired.’ The producers who saw the whole package also understood our target with ‘Pork Be Inspired’ is someone who enjoys cooking and is not intimidated by cooking pork. Consumers are buying pork at record high prices, so something is working, even if the Checkoff is just one factor in the current market.

We did receive some consumer inquires about the change, but overall it has been more positive than negative. Consumers who were familiar with our old Web site said they loved the new creative site. We also have been hearing that our new photos (darker palette, richer colors) are much more appealing. Producers and consumers can visit to see the new look and, of course, to pick up a new recipe.”

-- Tracy Ann Raef