Many of us have lived the better part of our lives believing pork to be "The Other White Meat." In fact, a 2000 study by Northwestern University found the slogan to be the fifth most recognizable tagline in the history of modern advertising. Yet last summer the National Pork Board announced that it was in the market for a new campaign, citing stagnant sales in recent years. Last week, after ten months presumably spent on research and brainstorming, they announced their new campaign. Are you ready folks? Hold on to your hats...
Seriously? Be inspired?
Martin Luther King Jr. was inspiring. Gandhi was inspiring. That mountain climber that cut off his own arm to survive is inspiring. But PORK? Give me a freaking break. I love bacon as much as the next girl, but the only thing it inspires me to do is hit the gym, and I doubt that's the angle they're looking for.
In defense of the new campaign, the National Pork Board said on its website, "Building on the success of The Other White Meat, which will remain as a heritage brand, Pork® Be Inspired communicates to the legion of pork fans that pork is delicious, versatile and can stand on its own - there is no need to rely on comparisons with other meats. Pork Be Inspired is really about celebrating everything that is wonderful and unique about pork."
While I do love the line "legions of pork fans", the rest of the paragraph is pretty useless. For one, they make the assumption that we already know everything that is wonderful and unique about pork, when this may not be the case for many Americans.
An entry on Pork, Knife and Spoon (official blog of the National Pork Board) offers additional insight into the motivation behind the new slogan, saying, "The Other White Meat was born out of the 1980s, the era when everyone skimmed a tiny amount of margarine on bread and eschewed anything with fat. Times have changed. More and more nutritionists and cardiac experts are coming forward to say that the whole low-fat craze may have been damaging to our health. Refined carbohydrates damage us far more than meat as part of a balanced diet."
On this logic, we would have suggested, "Pork. It's Not Pasta."
Hopefully, we'll find more inspiration in the national television ad campaign, set to launch April 11.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.