Q&A - MLA’s lamb campaign

20 January 2017

Summer Lamb CampaignMLA recently launched its latest lamb marketing campaign, encouraging everyone to celebrate Australia with lamb on the barbie.

So far, the advertisement has been viewed more than 7.6 million times across YouTube, Facebook and other media channels, sparking plenty of media coverage and public discussion.

With the campaign up and running for a week, MLA’s Group Marketing Manager, Andrew Howie, talks about the advertisement and why it’s such a valuable investment for Australian sheep producers.

What is MLA trying to achieve in its lamb marketing campaigns?

The aim of all MLA lamb marketing campaigns across the year is to drive demand and sales for quality Australian lamb, and to promote lamb as a national dish that everyone can come together and enjoy. These campaigns are a core function of MLA as we seek to invest producer levies in marketing activities that drive demand for red meat.

Each year, MLA has the challenge of coming up with marketing ideas that continue to engage consumers and ensure when Australians are deciding what to throw on their barbecues, lamb is at the forefront of their mind.  Ultimately, the success of this campaign is measured by lamb sales throughout the January period.

As well as the high profile advertisement that runs on TV, online and across social media channels, the campaign utilises several other elements that ensure we are reaching as many consumers as possible.  These include outdoor advertising, a number of product focused point-of-sale promotions across major retailers, independent butchers and foodservice that will deliver lamb barbeque inspiration plus a media broadcast partnership with Channel Nine including promotion on Australian themed movies and on air features throughout Channel Nine’s Summer of Cricket. 

This year’s campaign is about putting lamb at the forefront of celebrating modern Australia and who we are as a nation - and ensuring we all enjoy our lamb at barbeques right across the country this summer.

The domestic market remains the largest market for Australian lamb, however, with lamb having a relatively low purchase frequency, it is not bought as often as some other proteins like chicken or beef.  These ‘big’ campaigns are important to securing ongoing support for lamb from retailers, foodservice and consumers.

How is this year’s campaign performing so far?

After a week in market, the advertisement and campaign has been highly successful, with over 7.6 million views and almost 1000 pieces of media coverage. 

The ad is generating significant social media activity across platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and we continue to utilise these channels to promote the campaign and lamb.

The feedback from sheep producers, stakeholders and consumers has so far has been overwhelmingly positive, with many vocalising support for the campaigns message about celebrating Australia with lamb on their barbeques this summer.

Does the campaign help increase lamb sales?

Absolutely. Our marketing campaigns have proven very effective in lifting lamb sales at key times of the year for the industry – and this is particularly relevant in January.

Last year’s campaign saw an increase in lamb sales of 36.9% over the period of the campaign. This represented a record uplift in sales for the campaign – so we have the challenge this year to match those results. Given the record interest so far in the campaign since its launch we are expecting a strong result.

This year’s campaign has again attracted plenty of media coverage and generated discussions across Australia. How do you respond to some of the coverage?

This campaign has built on the strong lamb brand that MLA has created over previous activities – presenting lamb as the dish that celebrates Australia and its diversity – and that everyone can celebrate with, especially at a barbeque this summer.

Australia is the greatest country on earth and lamb is the nation’s favourite meat. We have brought those two things together to prove we should be able to celebrate this great country every day of the year.

Ultimately, our marketing campaigns are designed to generate discussion. As effective marketers, we always try to tap into topics or discussions that are already happening across the country.  This campaign is no different.

As the face of Australia continues to evolve and change – we need to make lamb relevant to a diverse, modern Australia.  This campaign does that by celebrating the diversity of Australia.

Our marketing campaigns are informed by consumer insights and data, as well as learnings from past campaigns – and we are continually looking for improvements to create advertising that works and boosts Australian lamb.

We never lose sight of what the end games is for our marketing activities – to drive sales and consumption of quality Australian lamb, resulting in value back to the farm gate for levy payers.

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