UnNews:Pork farmers pick new slogan

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4 March 2011

These pork chops will never be dropped to the seven-spot in the batting order.

DES MOINES, Iowa -- "The Other White Meat" has picked the other slogan. Twenty-five years into the motto comparing pork to chicken so that consumers would think it is somehow healthy, America's pork producers are going to start using "Be Inspired," to make consumers think it is somehow--what? Thought-provoking?

"There is no record anywhere of a diner getting inspired in a way that can be attributed to pork," admits Ceci Snyder, vice president of marketing for the National Pork Board, headquartered here. "Nevertheless, we think the new slogan will goose sales."

"We needed a more emotional connection to our product," Snyder continued. To put this into context again, the "product" is a piece of meat.

An estimated 82 million Americans eat pork. This figure includes almost no African Americans, as the old slogan induced them to drop the main course like a hot potato. For example, veteran black minor-leaguer Clyde "Pork Chop" Pough was unaware of the slogan for his namesake food until about 2005, at which time he abruptly changed his nickname to the inscrutable "Chop." He now prefers blackened bluefish and would not confirm that the new slogan might inspire him to take up pig flesh again.

Gail Carter of the advertising firm Schafer Condon Carter, which developed the new campaign, said "We know the target audience and how to talk to them in relevant terms." This would be African-American diners desirous of an intellectual epiphany from that next mouthful of meat. The theme is explored on the new web site, PorkBeInspired.com. Ms. Carter be white.

Through the national Pork Checkoff program, pork farmers pay the Pork Board 0.4 percent of the value of the hogs they sell. But it's a checkoff, not a tax. The money goes to Washington to promote pork, while Michelle Obama argues that it should be banned from school cafeterias and that we should all stick to broccoli as she wipes rib grease off her mouth.