A Historic Move: First-Ever Digital “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” Advertising Campaign Launches

by Mackenzie Jordan, Manager, Communication Content, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff

Contributor:
Michele Murray, Senior Executive Director, Integrated Communications, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff

Summary

This year marks a historic milestone for the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” brand. “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” launched a new all-digital advertising campaign for the first time ever. In just a short amount of time, the campaign – using an integrated digital media plan – has been a success, generating around 65 million impressions during the campaign’s first three weeks. 

Background

In the more than 20 years that the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” brand has existed, the advertising campaign has included print, radio and television spots to promote beef. Market research and consumer insights prompted findings around the new target audience, the older millennial parent, which is the next generation of beef consumers. The campaign needed to go digital to communicate with this tech-savvy consumer. Thus a very targeted and focused digital advertising campaign was born, specifically to reach older millennial parents with beef information so they continue to purchase, prepare and enjoy beef with family and friends. Through an integrated media plan  including social media and paid social advertising, strategic partnerships with websites visited frequently by the target audience, online videos, a new microsite, banner ads, and paid and organic search, the “Above All Else” digital advertising campaign is reaching the millennial consumer like never before. 

Discussion

In the first three weeks of the campaign, BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com has already seen great results. These results can be attributed to the integrated media plan that uses a variety of platforms and digital strategies to reach older millennials online. 

Social Media

Millennials are the most mobile and social generation to date – they are always connected. More than 87 percent use social media – 35 percent of which use social media three or more times a day.1 Additionally, social media plays a large role in meal inspirations and recipe sharing among millennials. This offers a great opportunity for beef to reach Americans through social media advertising and targeted social media campaigns based on what they’re posting or sharing through their social channels. 

The “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” Facebook page and Twitter handle frequently share visually appealing topical posts around seasonal and holiday meal ideas and cooking techniques to engage fans and encourage interaction. One way “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” is engaging fans (roughly 845,000 across Facebook and Twitter) is through the #momwins social media campaign, which encourages Americans to use the hashtag #momwins, #dadwins or #familywins to share everyday victories of parenthood and with food – whether it’s a celebration of making an amazing weeknight meal the kids love, showing-off cooking skills or sharing kitchen knowledge.


Social posts from Facebook and Twitter


Examples of #momwins

Site Partnerships

In the first three weeks of the campaign, strategic partnerships with sites including Parents.com, AllRecipes.com, MyRecipes.com, FoodNetwork.com and more have generated more than nine million quality impressions for “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” These partnerships consist of home page takeovers (banner ads and wallpapers on the site that highlight beef’s ease of preparation, nutrition benefits and savory taste) and recipe integrations (partners add “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” recipes and culinary information seamlessly on their websites). MyRecipes.com has delivered the most impressions to date, while TasteofHome.com has driven the most consumers to BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com

Example of a banner ad

Above All Else Microsite
The newly launched microsite is an extension of BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com and highlights the value beef brings to the table in terms of ease, taste and nutrition. The microsite is made up of three main pages: Keep It Simple, Fuel Great and Savor Success

  

Screenshot of microsite home page

Keep It Simple focuses on the ease and convenience of beef. To capture just how easy it is to prepare a delicious meal with beef in 30 minutes or less, five “no-recipe recipe” videos were created and are featured at the top of the page: Stress-Free Grilling, Easy Lean Burgers, DIY Tacos, Stir Fry for Small Fries and Satisfying Salads. In addition to the videos, visitors can browse a variety of quick and easy beef recipes. 

 
Screenshot of Keep It Simple page

Fuel Great takes visitors on beef’s nutrient journey. Everyone knows beef is an excellent source of protein, but what about the other nutrients it offers? Visitors learn the importance of all 10 nutrients beef provides and what each does for your body and mind. This page also features nutritious lean beef meals that will keep consumers feeling satisfied. 

 
Screenshot of Fuel Great page

Savor Success emphasizes the flavor possibilities of beef – and they’re endless! With articles like “Pairing Beef with Seasonal Vegetables,” “Mastering Steak on the Grill,” and “Flavor Up with Marinades & Rubs,” visitors can feel confident that their next beef meal will be one everybody loves. Savor Success also offers some crowd-pleasing recipes that are sure to delight even the pickiest eater’s taste buds.

 
Screenshot of Savor Success page

Search

Another way the new digital campaign is reaching Americans is through organic and paid search advertising. Search provides the ability to get relevant information in front of those searching for specific content. For example, if someone goes to Google and searches “how to grill a steak,” the Stress-Free Grilling video shows up in the search results. The user clicks on the link and it takes them to BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com to view the video. From there, the user can click through to explore more grilling recipes on BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com, share the video with friends and family on their social channels or explore the site further – connecting them with the beef information they were searching for.

This advertising method is highly effective and works to drive consumers who are actively using a popular search engine such as Google to a specific website and content that meets their immediate interests. Americans who type in keywords like “how to grill,” “beef recipes,” “easy dinner meals” or “party appetizers” will be shown a series of links to websites that match these descriptors. Search engine advertising works to place a website (in this case, BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com) toward the top of the list.

Conclusion

The new “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” digital advertising campaign has already been extremely successful and is expected to continue on that track. In the first three weeks alone, website page views increased 250 percent, and BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com is averaging 50,000 visits per week, 90 percent of which are considered new visitors. Site partnerships have generated more than 9 million high quality impressions since the beginning of May and paid search has attracted more than 60,000 users to BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com looking for meal options or beef information. 

Additional Resources

  1. Simmons Winter 2013 US Adult 6-Month Survey 

Tags: Beef Issues Quarterly, Summer 2014, Trends Analyses

June 18, 2014