Japanese women, who typically shop for and prepare meals for their families, are the target of a U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) four-part advertising campaign showing the careers and home lives of American women who are actively involved in the U.S. beef industry. These ads endorse U.S. beef as a safe, wholesome and delicious product that is suitable to purchase and prepare for loved ones.
The ads feature Ann Marie Bosshamer from Nebraska Beef Council as a beef producer, Kendra Nightingale from Colorado State University as a food scientist, Julie Moore from Colorado Beef Council as a nutritionist/dietitian and Elise Wiggins from Panzano restaurant in Denver as a chef.
“The ads explain each woman's view on the safety and quality of U.S. beef and the importance of food and nutrition in general so Japanese consumers can see the people and efforts involved in U.S. beef safety,” said USMEF Japan Director Greg Hanes.
The ads show what the women do professionally to ensure U.S. beef is safe to consume and also show the women outside of their careers preparing or consuming U.S. beef with family and friends.
The first three ads ran in popular newspapers like Yomiuri January 17-18, January 24-25 and January 28-29. The final ad ran February 7, reaching a total of 83 million consumers. The ads are also available on the USMEF “We Care” Web site at www.wecare.jp.
A Yomiuri Internet survey found more than an 80 percent ad awareness rate for the first three ads, compared to a typical awareness of 60 percent for the same size ad. Comments from survey respondents still show concerns about meat safety, but were balanced by many positive comments about U.S. beef, the ads themselves and other USMEF efforts to communicate with Japanese consumers.
This effort is a part of the USMEF “We Care” campaign that concentrates on the sincerity of the U.S. beef industry in delivering safe and quality beef products for consumers to enjoy. It features both trade and consumer elements including advertising, virtual video presentations, retail and foodservice promotions, point-of-sale materials, buyer teams, a beef caravan seminar series, local barbecues, media events and other promotional efforts.
This campaign is reminiscent to a successful campaign called “Aisareru” or “Love Beef“ that was launched in March 2002 after the first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was discovered in Japan during September 2001. With the domestic BSE discovery, consumption of beef dropped 30 to 50 percent at both retail and restaurant levels.
USMEF developed a “woman-to-woman” approach, featuring three American wives and mothers who shared the concerns of Japanese women about the safety of food they serve their families; these women also work in the U.S. beef industry.
USMEF consumer research found that Japanese women – the key decision-makers when it came to family meals – had lost faith in government officials and retailers. Only 1 percent believed that a celebrity could be a valid source of safety information.
This effort generated consumer confidence in U.S. beef and identified it as safe, nutritious, delicious and healthy. Within three months, retail sales increased 33 percent and restaurant consumption 23 percent. To read more about this campaign, see USMEF Launches "Aisareru Beef" Campaign In Japan
The U.S. Meat Export Federation is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry and is funded by USDA, exporting companies, and the beef, pork, lamb, corn, sorghum and soybean checkoff programs.