Viewers tuning into the Hallmark Channel this holiday season can feast their eyes on a delicious sight. For the first time since 2003, Beef Checkoff-funded “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” advertisements are appearing on television.
The commercials are airing during the channel’s holiday programming. Based on the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” campaign’s successful 2019 “Drool Log” video of a prime rib slowly roasting over an open fire, the 15-second clips whet viewers’ appetites for beef as a holiday meal.
“The Virginia Beef Council is excited to see “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” aired on television again,” said Stephanie Weiss, the council’s executive director. “With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping more people at home, the Hallmark Channel provides an excellent opportunity to speak to consumers during the holiday season. Beef is a delicious comfort food that reminds folks of happy times with family and friends.”
According to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor of the Beef Checkoff, the ads will air over 50 times before the end of the year.
“I think there will be a lot of enthusiasm for our producers,” said Margaret Ann Smith, a sixth-generation beef cattle producer in Rockbridge County and member of the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Livestock Advisory Committee. “I think farmers pride themselves on the fact that we produce a very high-quality, highly sought-after product.”
Smith, also a member of the Virginia Cattlemen’s Association and NCBA, added that while commercials are returning to TV for the first time in years, marketers have found other ways to promote beef to consumers. Checkoff dollars have been used to sponsor popular cooking shows, drive e-commerce marketing, target nutrition programs and educate consumers about the benefits of beef.
“It’s really cool that we’re finding ways to reach people,” Smith said. “Any efforts that increase demand for our product will help Virginia cattle producers’ bottom lines.”
She noted that Google searches for beef recipes spiked during the pandemic, and 62% of consumers say they have tried new recipes.
In addition to commercials, the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” campaign includes an updated website that provides a one-stop shop for holiday cooking, recipes and shopping.
“We hope Virginians will gather around a holiday table with beef as the centerpiece this year,” Weiss said. “Virginia cattle producers work hard to provide an excellent product, and consumers can have confidence their beef is produced safely, sustainably and with high animal welfare standards.”