Promo Close-Up - Hog Heaven

A Distributor Adds Flavor To A Culinary Campaign

Promo Close - Up Hog Heaven There’s little doubt pork producers have benefitted over the years from TV ads. After all, who hasn’t seen a spot for “the other white meat” at least once? So it made perfect sense for trade group Alberta Pork to launch a promotional campaign with TV commercials.

But, it turns out, as soon as the spots ended, so did enthusiasm for the group’s Passion for Pork domestic campaign. In fact, Alberta Pork’s website hits tumbled from up to 400 a day to just above 50. It was time, the organization realized, to reinvigorate interest, so it turned to promotional products.

Distributor The Image Group (asi/230059) stepped in to bolster the campaign, suggesting products like an embroidered chef coat and animal-shaped flexi cutting boards with the Passion for Pork logo. As distribution of the cutting boards was underway at events, a few people provided feedback that they planned to use the cutting boards as place mats.

“The campaign’s success is largely attributable to the prominent role of public feedback in the re-branding process,” says Janet Dickerson, co-founder and principal of brand management firm Pixel Prose Media. “Having an attentive listening program in place to monitor the audience’s engagement with your product is critical to identifying and addressing potential shortcomings before they become a hindrance.”

A key campaign event was a high-profile dinner in Edmonton, attracting more than 1,400 diners. Here, local restaurants and chefs clad in their Passion for Pork coats prepared local ingredients and favorites from the region. The Passion for Pork cutting boards were set out as place mats so people could take them home following the event.

Next, the campaign went viral. Alberta Pork started to receive photographs of fun and crazy poses of the pig cutting boards in various get-ups and in different places. Alberta Pork has used the photos on its websites and continues to promote them through social media to build up demand for the boards.

“Television advertising, while effective, tends to have a shorter lifespan than viral ads, which continue to build momentum the more people see and share it,” says Dickerson. “The Image Group’s decision to convert to an online medium was a particularly smart and intuitive move, as it allowed the marketing team to cast a wider net at a much lower expense to the client.”

Website visits have again increased, and at much lower costs than buying television spots, Alberta Pork admits. The organization ordered 4,000 cutting boards and 72 embroidered coats, totaling just $7,200.

“With this well-executed campaign, The Image Group showed clients and competitors that it can think outside of the box and implement solutions that will have diverse and widespread appeal,” says Dickerson. “The pig-shaped cutting boards were a lighthearted, effective way to forge an emotional connection with Alberta Pork’s audience by offering a product that can be used practically and creatively.”