SOUTH SYDNEY, Australia – Initial results of Meat & Livestock Australia's $5 million (US$4,979,190) domestic beef marketing campaign launched last October – titled “Nothing beats Beef” – indicate the campaign is successfully building the foundations to revive the emotional bond between Australians and beef, Glen Feist, MLA General Manager Marketing, told the taskforce.

"Results show the campaign has been a great first step in entrenching the new 'Nothing beats Beef' message, reminding Australians to put beef on the barbie over summer," Feist said.

Two commercials – one humorously depicting the lengths people will go to make sure they get the beef meal at a wedding and the other reminding consumers that nothing beats beef on the barbecue – were viewed by more than 14.6 million Australians in metro and regional areas. The commercials began screening on Oct. 14.

The Beef Wedding ad, in particular, proved to be successful, Feist said. "Research showed 84% of viewers agreed the commercial positioned beef as 'the most desirable meat,'" he added.

During the promotional period, Roy Morgan Research noted an increase in beef and beef barbecue cuts purchasing. More than 51 million servings of beef and veal were bought on average per week during October and November – an increase of 6% from 48 million in the same period in 2009.

Prime steak serving purchases increased 12% (from 10.75m to 12.03m/week) and beef sausage servings purchases increased 14% from the previous year (from 7.47m to 8.5m/week).

Retailers supported the campaign with their own promotions, Feist said. "Although 66% of butchers took part in the campaign, this was short of MLA's target figure of 75%, so this is an area we really want to focus on in future campaigns to grow consumer demand for beef even further,” he added.

MLA’s taskforce endorsed the next planned phase of the “Nothing beats Beef” campaign, which will include tactical advertising to capitalize on the Royal Wedding in April and another set of TV commercials, promotional and PR activities in June-July to secure beef's place on Australia’s winter menu.