New is the theme at American Egg Board (AEB). Joanne Ivy, president and CEO and several staff members joined the organization in 2007, a new chairman and two new executive committee members are in leadership roles, a new method of communicating joins the media mix to reach a new targeted audience, and nutrition messages take a new twist.
Web Ads Join Media Mix
For the first time, web media is incorporated into AEB's advertising plan. A re-launch of the successful The incredible, edible egg campaign now appears on Web sites to reach the target audience of moms with children at home, more specifically mothers between the ages of 25 and 54. Key sites for the on-line advertising include Yahoo.com, Foodtv.com, WeightWatchers.com and Rachaelrayshow.com. Messages are tailored to each audience. For example, for Weightwatchers.com, the message promotes eggs as an excellent food option as part of a weight-loss plan.
A recipe slot machine, where a mouse-click displays protein and calorie information for various egg dishes in lieu of spinning cherries, encourages audience interaction on several sites.
New on-line efforts join the established elements of morning, cable and syndicated television; local radio; egg cartons; women's service, parenting, health, shelter, and lifestyle magazines; and billboards and truck signage that can be customized by producers for local use.
The nutrition-based message of eggs' unique point-of-difference high-quality protein from a natural, non-processed source is carried throughout the campaign. Dubbed a "surround sound approach" by Kevin Burkham, AEB's new vice president of marketing, efforts are designed to put the positive egg message in front of the target audience on a nearly continuous basis.
More Internet Use
Continuing the utilization of web-based media, two new AEB sites are now active. Maintaining the focus on moms with kids, www.IncredibleEgg.org offers demonstration videos, recipes, health and nutrition information, interactive games for families, and a blog by Omelet King Howard Helmer. The America's Worst Cook campaign is featured on this site. Helmer has been partnered with Remy, a YouTube star, to create multiple videos and contribute to the promotion of the second annual America's Worst Cook search. The contest's Web site, www.AmericasWorstCook.com will carry new recipes, cooking tips and entry information.
By this fall, an overhaul of www.aeb.org will give the site a fresh look and make navigation easier. The new site will focus exclusively on egg industry audiences and business-to-business areas such as retail, foodservice, and food manufacturers.
Focus on Breakfast
Highly visible, national chain restaurants are targeted to expand their menus by adding choices that include eggs and egg products. For quick-service restaurants (QSR), the message addresses the growing breakfast market. A significant step, being watched by all leading QSRs is the addition of three varieties of egg sandwiches, created in conjunction with AEB, which are now on the breakfast menus of 1,100 Panera restaurants.
Print ads directed at mid-scale/family and causal restaurants and hotels focusing on breakfast as an all-day option are running in major foodservice trade publications.
Research to determine the success of the foodservice program throughout 2008 has been implemented to measure menu census, channel volume and assess advertising impact.
ENC Becomes Part of AEB
Funded by AEB for over 20 years with a cooperative management agreement with United Egg Producers, the Egg Nutrition Center (ENC) officially changed its status and became part of AEB at the beginning of 2008. Headed by ENC's Executive Director Dr. Don McNamara, nutrition research and education efforts continue to focus on changing the negative perception of eggs and expanding positive perceptions within the scientific community.
McNamara explained how the focus has shifted from spending all ENC dollars to address the cholesterol issue to spending the majority of the dollars to target a set core of nutrition benefit messages, "prioritizing nutrition messages on those that have the most meaningful impact on public health."
Using a theme of Incredible science to mesh with AEB's The incredible edible egg, egg nutrition benefits like helping the elderly maintain muscle tissue; assisting with weight control and loss; and diet value during pregnancy and lactation, replace the cholesterol message.
Egg production DVD distributed
Egg production education moved into high school classrooms and public libraries via a new educational DVD, Eggs 101. A Video Project. The moderators of the DVD are two high school students whose assignment is to find out how the egg industry has changed over the years and where it is today. The DVD presents the full egg production and processing story from the hen in the laying house to the refrigerated trucks for delivery. A road trip is included to Purdue to interview poultry scientists and to an egg farm. Copies of this DVD, which includes a Teacher's Guide PDF, were distributed to over 30,000 high schools and public libraries.
Jacque Klempf, Dixie Egg Company, took the lead as the new AEB chairman following a unanimous vote during the March board meeting. Most recently serving as vice chairman of the Executive Committee in 2007, Klempf also lead the Advertising Committee as chairman in 2006.
Klempf expressed his enthusiasm for the "new AEB", including the new president and staff members who "hit the pavement running," the new advertising campaigns and expanded media plan.
New to the Executive Committee: Vice Chairman Craig Willardson, Norco Ranch, Inc., and Committee Member Thomas E. Hertzfeld, I, Hertzfeld Poultry Farms, Inc. Continuing their leadership roles: Treasurer Paul Sauder, R.W. Sauder, Inc.; Secretary Brian Hayward, Creighton Brothers, LLC; Bruce Dooyema, Dooyema & Sons, Inc.; and Wayne Mooney, Pilgrim's Pride Corp., past chairman, and Joanne Ivy, AEB president and CEO, as ex officio members.