Pork Plays Lead Roles in TV Melodramas

CHICAGO The Richards Group attempts to reinvigorate the image of pork in its first work for the National Pork Board in a campaign that tells consumers, “Don’t be blah.”

The independent Dallas agency’s work pokes fun at families using the same recipes over and over again, instead encouraging them to try a new dish featuring pork. While ads maintain the longtime line, “Pork. The other white meat,” the campaign introduces “Don’t be blah” as a tag.

The work broke earlier this week, with regional spots running during the Academy Awards telecast and print ads appearing in national magazines. One animated TV spot spoofs Titanic with a Pork Cutlet captaining a boat while a Ginger Root belatedly identifies a head of iceberg lettuce in the way. As the ship goes down, a voiceover says, “Ginger Pork salad. They were meant to be together.”

Another spot, entitled “Forbidden Love,” tells a love story between Pork Loin and Apricot, a union forbidden by the Lord Chicken Breast.

Print executions maintain the humorous vein, with one noting the death of a woman’s tuna casserole. Another is a “contract” for mothers to sign pledging new meal options in exchange for better table manners. An online effort features a technology in which people can program a pre-recorded message to friends encouraging them to have better meals.

“Pork. The other white meat, which repositioned the food as a healthy protein source, has become synonymous with pork in the 17 years since it was introduced,” said Steve Murphy, chief executive officer of the National Pork Board, in a statement. “‘Don’t be blah’ is our new rallying cry for pork. It’s the ultimate solution for dinner decision-makers to escape their recipe rut.”

Campaign spending was not disclosed. The Des Moines, Iowa-based National Pork Board in December approved a nearly $54 million marketing budget to help finance the effort.