years ago, the first
“Beef. It’s What’s for
Dinner.” ad aired.
It started with an uplifting bit of Aaron Copeland’s “Rodeo” music, segued into imagery of Amer- icana and delicious food, and became an adver- tising sensation. Now, 25 years after the launch of the popular “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.” ad cam- paign, the beef industry is rebooting the program for today’s consumers. Through the Beef Checkoff, the country’s farm- ers and ranchers have invested in a reintroduction
of the iconic 1990s campaign, resurrecting the “Rodeo”
music and tagline, and adding a contemporary flair with
new creative assets. The new ads are rolling out in time
for the 25th anniversary of the original campaign, with an
early October launch of digital ads.
“Consumers love beef, and as with all foods, today’s
consumers want the whole story about the beef they buy,”
says Alisa Harrison, SVP, global marketing and research
for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA),
a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, which funds the
campaign. “Our research shows that the ‘Beef. It’s What’s
For Dinner.’ brand is still extremely popular among
consumers, including Millennials. So, in honor of its 25th
anniversary, we have refreshed the brand and updated
our resources to make beef information available to
consumers where they want it, when they want it and how
they want it.”
Fitting for today’s marketplace, the revamped
“Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.” campaign reflects the
current high-tech culture, through a new digital plat-
form available at beefitswhatsfordinner.com. The
comprehensive single location, created by NCBA with its
digital advertising agency VML, provides an interactive
experience about beef, spanning cuts and cookery, a
diverse collection of beef recipes and an inside look at
the lives of farmers and ranchers.
The campaign also shares with consumers (and potential customers) technological advances in the cattle and
beef industries. “Today’s farmers and ranchers blend
time-honored traditions with cutting-edge innovations
to raise beef, from drones and GPS tracking on the range
to apps and other electronic tools that ensure precise and
nutrient-filled rations in the feedbunk,” remarks Harrison.
Given the fact that many consumers—especially the
much-discussed Millennial demographic — like beef but
don’t always know how to make it, the new campaign provides easy-to-access information on how to choose and
cook beef, as well as information on where and how beef
A core part of the new campaign is a video series
through which consumers learn about each step in beef
production. The first video, unveiled at the launch of the
campaign, is an “anthem”-themed piece that celebrates
the American tradition of ranching while shedding light
on what’s new about raising food today.
According to Harrison, the timing is right to refocus
on the quality of American beef and integrity of the production process. A recent checkoff-funded National Beef
Quality Audit revealed that a higher percentage of beef
is grading Prime and Choice—the two highest grades
USDA assigns—than it has in more than 35 years. And
steak tenderness has achieved its best tenderness scores
since testing began in 1990, according to the National
Beef Tenderness Study.
Looking ahead to 2018, more ads will be rolled out celebrating beef as an appealing source of protein. Another
planned element of the campaign is a 360-degree video
that shows how beef goes from pasture to plate.
Beef. It’s What’s for
Popular ad campaign is reintroduced for next
generation of consumers.