Lamb-assador Slammin’ Sam Kekovich hasn’t been given the chop.
But it seems he was getting bigger than the product he was promoting for the lamb industry.
In September this year, MLA confirmed a report by website Mumbrella that The Monkeys agency had taken its lamb marketing campaign from the BMF agency, which had Sam Kekovich as its centrepiece.
MLA told Sheep Central then that its long and successful partnership with the “Lamb-assador” was not over, but it was yet to finalise the ongoing role of Sam Kekovich in its flagship Australia Day campaign ‘You Never Lamb Alone”.
Sam to have cameo role
At MLA’s Producer Forum in Sydney today, global marketing general manager Michael Edmonds said Sam will still feature in the You Never Lamb Alone campaign.
“But he will have a bit more of a cameo role and he is still a Lamb-assador for us.
“Sam’s been part of the brand for 10 years now and we have to be careful that our spokespeople don’t become the brand,” Mr Edmonds said.
“It has been incredibly successful and it is going to be challenging for us to move beyond Sam.
“As I said he will stay a spokesperson for us,” he said.
“This whole idea of this new campaign theme of You Never Lamb Alone – it’s really all about not being about any one individual, but having a really consistent theme that we can run right throughout the year.
“Because we do only have limited funds and we need to make sure that our campaign theme runs throughout the year.”
New campaign theme will ‘move to the front’
Mr Edmonds said Sam will “move to the background and the campaign theme will move to the front”.
Producers at the forum were told their marketing levy funded campaigns that influenced demand for lamb around the world, including the six-episode television series The Dinner Project starring popular former MasterChef contestant Hayden Quinn.
Good reasons to be positive about future demand
Mr Edmonds said beef and lamb producers had every reason to be positive about the outlook for their products. He outlined a recent MLA five-year demand project modelled factors determining the likely demand for Australian beef and lamb through to 2020.
“All the fundamentals we reviewed are positive, including exchange rate improvements, economic growth returning to the Northern Hemisphere, easing of key Asian market tariffs and continued middle class growth in China and Indonesia, as well as the Middle East.
“So there are some very strong fundamentals there,” he said.
“So with all the modelling we did value growth for Australian beef is expected to be very strong in all our core markets and likewise for lamb it is a very similar story – our core markets showing significant value growth from this modelling.
“So given the demand for our product will be very strong, there is every reason for us to be optimistic,” Mr Edmonds said.