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The US Simply Spring campaign digitally strengthened to manage COVID-19 impacts

09 April 2020

MLA’s Simply Spring Campaign has been swiftly modified to leverage the use of MLA’s digital platform due to the spread of Covid-19.

“As traditional Springtime social gatherings have taken a back seat, use of digital technologies to connect, shop and learn has become the new way of life,” said Catherine Golding, MLA’s Business Development Manager – North America.

“We are boosting our influencer program and developing new initiatives such as virtual cooking classes to bring people together in their own homes.

“We are also trialing new social media platforms like TikTok – traditionally used by teens for showing off their dance moves, as it is now seeing an influx of quick cooking videos that encourage kids to get into the kitchen.”

MLA’s Simply Spring campaign continues to encourage consumers to make thoughtful protein choices and guide them towards Australian red meat, focusing on health and nutrition, batch cooking, and safe food storage. These are the hallmarks of MLA’s Simply Spring consumer campaign in the US.

This year’s Simply Spring campaign focuses on messaging and tactics that:

  1. Associate Australian beef and lamb with being excellent sources of nutrients that support healthy immune function and wellbeing
  2. Make the term “Aussie” synonymous with high quality, nutritious grassfed beef and lamb
  3. Relieve the consumer pain point that our product is difficult to cook, positioning it fitting for simple comfort foods promoting good health

MLA is also developing a children’s virtual activity book that includes simple, kid-friendly recipes using Australian beef and lamb to alleviate boredom and parental pressure during COVID-19.

Digital campaigns on red meat are also challenged by the lack of online presence these proteins have.

“Retailers have struggled to make raw meat look appealing in online catalogues, so we see this as an opportunity to improve red meat’s digital connection with consumers.”

New tactics surrounding this approach were tested last year.

Shoppable recipes, purchasable via a ‘buy now’ option are designed to help consumers encounter ingredients such as Australian beef and lamb and use them in their cooking. The result of the campaign last spring and summer saw around 15,000 of these ingredients added to online purchases.

The micro-influencer ‘army’ to achieve higher engagement on product benefits, how to cook it and where to buy it via compelling story telling and recipes saw the 675 micro-influencers generate over 3 million impressions, with 90% recommending Aussie lamb and 87% saying they were likely to purchase it in the future.

“This year we are adding to our online retail testing through shop bots and geo-targeted personalised videos,” said Catherine.

“With 42% of shoppers using chat to purchase ingredients and 40% using their phones to check digital grocery lists, these tactics engage shoppers with our messaging in their decision-making moment, delivering personalised preparation advice to ensure their success with their purchases.”