Cricketing legends Ian “Beefy” Botham and Allan “Lamby” Lamb have been signed up to promote the English Beef and Lamb Executive’s new Quality Standard mark.
Animated versions of the duo will appear in a £4.5m TV and press campaign designed to get shoppers to look for the mark.
The TV commercials are animated using technology employed by the makers of The Incredibles movie, with Botham and Lamb lending their voices to the sitcom-style executions.
The first ad will go out on March 1 on ITV at 7.15pm during Emmerdale. There are three executions at present and a fourth will be produced for the September flush of lambs.
Newspaper and magazine ads
will complement the TV ads, as will consumer PR, a web site and PoS material. Botham and Lamb have also been signed up to take part in interviews and other promotional work.
Eblex head of marketing Andrew Garvey said he was conscious that using ex-cricketers on a target audience consisting largely of females was an unusual step. But he insisted consumer research had proved the advertising succeeded in communicating the message of what the mark stood for.
“People will notice this campaign because it’s different.”
The mark is intended to help the consumer avoid older, tougher meat. It is also intended to promote English meat because Eblex is funded by English levy-payers. The new advertising will incorporate a St George’s Cross flag.
However, because animals often cross UK borders at some point in their lifetimes, Garvey said most retail packs would probably carry a mark featuring a Union Jack.
Asda, Sainsbury, Somerfield, Waitrose, The Co-operative Group and Budgens had all pledged to support the mark, he said, but Tesco and Morrisons had not.
Richard Clarke