Vegan-targeted pork campaign reaches 26 million households

A UK-wide pork advertising campaign which was almost halted by vegans has managed to boost sales in the industry by more than £13 million (€14.8 million).

Almost half a million more shoppers bought the meat during the two phases of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board Pork’s £3 million (€3.42 million) midweek meals campaign.

The campaign made headlines earlier this year after a vegan group tried to halt it, arguing that claims made in the advert that pork medallions were “low in fat” were incorrect.

However, the complaint was dismissed in April by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after detailed evidence was put forward by AHDB.

The campaign included prime-time TV adverts, shown during autumn and in January 2018.

It was supported by major retailers with print, digital and social media, helping it reach a staggering 26 million households – approximately 95% of Britain.

£6.43 for every £1 spent

Research from Kantar showed the campaign also delivered incremental revenue of £13.2 million, with £6.43 of extra retail sales generated for each £1 of marketing media spend.

AHDB Pork strategy director Angela Christison said: “Our evaluation showed the campaign’s balance of humour and clear messaging appealed to consumers who found the advertising engaging and memorable. The on-pack stickers and point-of-sale materials helped convert this interest into sales.

We broke new ground with medallions, reaching health-conscious consumers and those who may have never bought pork before, people who are traditionally hard to reach.

Highlights of the campaign included Olympic medallist Rebecca Adlington, who promoted the health credentials of pork medallions with a special midweek recipe video – which was viewed more than 80,000 times.

Further campaigns

Backed by a further £2.5 million investment, the promotion will continue this September and again in 2019. An extended TV advert and new social content will promote the versatility of pork medallions and loin steaks through “delicious and easy recipes, perfect for midweek meals”.

The campaign forms part of a three-year strategy to rejuvenate pork’s image and make it more appealing and relevant to younger consumers.

Kantar Worldpanel data indicates 480,323 more shoppers bought fresh pork during the two burst periods of the campaign in autumn 2017 and the first quarter of 2018, compared to the same periods the previous years.