Beef. It's What's For Dinner
"Beef. It's What's For Dinner" is an American advertising slogan and campaign aimed to promote the benefits of incorporating beef into a healthy diet. The campaign is funded by the Beef Checkoff Program with the creative guidance of Leo Burnett Worldwide.
Launched by the Chicago-based National Livestock and Meat Board through a promotional arm, "The Beef Council" (aka "The Beef Industry Council"), by the advertising firm of Leo Burnett Company the week of May 18, 1992. The "Beef. It's What's For Dinner" campaign was established through television and radio ads that featured actor Robert Mitchum as its first narrator, and scenarios and music ("Hoe-down") from the Rodeo suite by Aaron Copland, followed by a large magazine campaign that was rolled out in late July and early August.
The new campaign replaced the slogan "Beef. Real food for real people" from the San Francisco firm of Ketchum Advertising. Leo Burnett beat out Ketchum, GSD&M Advertising, and DDB Needham. Mitchum replaced such spokespeople as James Garner, Cybill Shepherd, Larry Bird, who had appeared in recent beef campaigns for The Beef Council. The previous campaigns had featured these stars in front of the camera, but the new one only used voice-over narration and highlighted the prepared beef itself.
The Beef Checkoff promotion was funded by collecting a dollar on every cow, steer, and bull sold in the United States.
In May of 1993, Dairy Management Inc. and the Beef Industry Council created a promotion called "Double Cheese Cheeseburger Days".
After the death of Robert Mitchum on July 1, 1997, the campaign let the existing ads that were scheduled play-out through their contract over the next few months. The campaign was already set to switch to new ads featuring anonymous narrators with the new campaign and slogan: "Beef. It's what you want". But the new campaign was less favorable and "Beef. It's What's For Dinner." was brought back in the fall of 1999 with Sam Elliott now doing the voice-over in place of Mitchum.
A website BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com was launched in 2002 and serves as a resource for how to prepare and enjoy beef. The Web site addresses topics such as recipes, shopping recommendations, cooking tips, proper food handling and nutrition facts. www.BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com also includes Beef So Simple, a weekly electronic newsletter featuring beef cooking tips and recipes.
"Powerful Beefscapes" is the latest advertising campaign from The Beef Checkoff. Building on the "Beef. It's What's for Dinner" slogan, the print and radio ads (voiced by actor Matthew McConaughey) ask people to "Discover the Power of Protein in the Land of Lean Beef". Launched in 2008, with the support of partner advertising agency Leo Burnett Worldwide, the new print ads demonstrate a creative approach to food photography. Each ad brings to life one of the 29 cuts of lean beef as a landscape such as flatlands, beach, cliff, mountain, canyon and river. On the radio, the new campaign continues to use the long-standing tagline and Aaron Copland's Rodeo music.
In popular culture
One installment of the popular comic strip FoxTrot featured Peter Fox, the oldest son of the family, continuously playing and rewinding the tagline from a "Beef. It's What's for Dinner" television spot on the family VCR, as a hint to his mother Andy, who announces she's making eggplant for supper and that Peter should "deal with it."
"Beef. It's What's For Dinner" is recognized by more than 88 percent of Americans.
The campaign has received awards including the 2006 Sappi Award, and the 2003, 2004, 2007 Advertising Effies.
- "Beef Group Stakes New Ads on Dinner". Chicago Tribune. March 25, 1992.
- Moore, Martha T. (May 8, 1992). "Beef the Hero in Ads Again". USA Today.
- Antosh, Nelson (May 11, 1992). "Ads to Round Up Beef Eaters". Houston Chronicle.
- Mann Fuller, Jennifer (May 19, 1992). "Beef Industry Launches Ad Effort to Reshape Nation's Meat Taste". The Kansas City Star.
- Painter, Steve (August 16, 1992). "New Beef Ad Agency Aims to Stop Decline". The Wichita Eagle.
- Harty, Rosalynne (February 27, 1994). "Olympics Beef Ads Attracting Attention". The State Journal-Register.
- Kirk, Jim (July 4, 1997). "Mitchum's Memory Lives in Ads". Chicago Tribune.
- Strauss, Gary (July 8, 1999). "Stewing in a tough market Beef industry hopes new ideas will lure time-starved, health-conscious". USA Today.
- Ad History. - Beef, It's What's for Dinner.