Former Australian cricket captain and commentator Richie Benaud has died just as the nation’s lamb industry heralded him as a lamb chop legend.
The ‘Richie’s BBQ’ Australia Day campaign delivered stellar sales results for lamb producers, Meat and Livestock Australia has reported.
Mr Benaud died today in a Sydney hospice after a battle with skin cancer and the effects of a serious car accident in 2013.
Benaud tributes laud cricketing icon
Tributes for Mr Benaud on social media today included Prime Minister Tony Abbott tweeting it was a sad day for Australia.
“We have lost a cricketing champion and Australian icon. What an innings. RIP Richie Benaud,” Mr Abbott said.
Former Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath said it was very sad news.
“A legend of Australian cricket and the commentary box. We’ve lost a true Aussie icon, RIP Richie.”
Mr Benaud’s long-time employer, Channel 9, said he passed away in his sleep overnight.
Mr Abbott has announced this morning that a State funeral will be held in his honour.
Mr Benaud was the first cricketer to score 2000 Test runs and take 200 Test wickets, and then led an equally successful career in cricket television commentary during the alternating Australian and UK summers for half a century.
‘Richie’s BBQ’ Australia Day campaign in top two
Meat and Livestock Australia said sales of lamb for the week before Australia Day were up 35.3 percent, compared to an average week, and 20.3pc for the campaign fortnight, putting it in the top two of the Australia Day lamb campaign’s 11-year history.
The “Richie’s BBQ” television ad featured other icons such as Captain Cook, Ita Buttrose, Sam Kekovich and Ned Kelly.
Running over two weeks, the ad was aired 732 times on commercial television with a reach of 6.6 million viewers.
“We are excited to see that great creative work has also delivered value back to stakeholders in the form of encouraging sales results” MLA’s Marketing Manager Consumer Programs Andrew Howie said.
“The challenge we now face is to raise the bar even further in 2016, which is a good problem to have, and continue to grow domestic sales for lamb in the lead up to Australia Day and ensure the campaign remains relevant to consumers.”
Campaign wins critical acclaim
Creative recognition has started to flow in also, with “Richie’s BBQ” having just taken out the Australian Creative Excellence Showcase (ACES) Awards.
Handed out every six months, the ACES recognises outstanding creativity in screen advertising and “Richie’s BBQ” beat ads such as Honda’s Dream Run and Toyota’s Unbreakable Driver.