From nutrition to sustainability: Beef + Lamb NZ stew up new campaign based on the Iron Maidens

Beef + Lamb NZ loosen the apron strings, step out of the meatworks, and cast the lens on iconic ‘Iron Maidens’ – Kiwi Olympians Sarah Walker, Lisa Carrington, Eliza McCartney, and Paralympian Sophie Pascoe – in its latest campaign. 

In collaboration with Lassoo Media and production agency Zoomslide each minute-long ad provides insight into the values of the athletes, shedding light on themes of legacy, inspiration, overcoming adversity, food and nutrition, as well as sustainability.

General manager of Beef + Lamb NZ Ashley Hall says that the choice of themes gives focus to the outlook of each athlete, both on-and-off the sporting field.

Hall says the creative process was integral, which involved each athlete speaking at length with Beef + Lamb NZ about their key values and interests. The transcripts of the interview were used as the script of the advertisements, meaning both the ideas and the dialogue came from the athletes.

Each story also offered an insightful wider narrative.

Kiwi canoer Lisa Carrington delved into her love for food, as both a nutritional attribute and as a wider narrative of wellbeing.

Sarah Walker spoke of inspiration, the roots of Beef + Lamb’s team and its ethos.

Kiwi pole vaulter Eliza McCartney puts scope on sustainability.

Kiwi Paralympian swimmer Sophie Pascoe touched on overcoming adversity, her outlook on life, as well as her passion for fashion.

Beef + Lamb NZ and its entourage of Iron Maidens have dated back to the last decade where the original crop of Kiwi icons – Sarah Ulmer, and the Evers-Swindell twins – were heavily featured in the classic Beef + Lamb NZ’s TVCs.

Hall says the brand strategy has evolved since the early campaigns for Beef + Lamb NZ – despite the strong brand association, and the positive reception, it now needs to cater for the changing marketing landscape.

“The change means it is really important we have moved to new ideas and new technologies, where people want more in the message. It is a totally different time to the Iron Maiden campaign of white t-shirts, the white studio space and the singular message of health and nutrition. People want to know more about the athletes, and what they support – that is what we have focused on in this campaign.”

One key message was that of sustainability. It is important to note, previous blends of farming and sustainability have rendered hostility. Namely, the Greenpeace and Fonterra stoush, which has offered continuous scandals. An example being the Greenpeace parody video, which sent Fonterra’s ‘Pure NZ Dairy story’ into disrepute.

However, Beef + Lamb NZ aim to revisit the topic and elevates the message of sustainability using McCartney’s views, as seen in the nuanced and wholesome one-minute video spot. 

Hall states that McCartney approached Beef + Lamb NZ regarding a prospective relationship prior to the Rio Olympics, where Sarah Walker was her mentor. From the start, McCartney showed a deep regard for sustainability and wanted to use her profile to help shift the conversation. McCartney disclaims in the campaign that she is, “by no means an expert”.

Hall says: “The Iron Maiden team has been a part of the marketing strategy for so long, and commonly aligned with health and nutrition. However, now people want to know the whole picture, including the environmental element. In the video, it’s apparent Eliza doesn’t quote statistics or figures, it’s a personal opinion and we were very conscious about not putting her in a position of criticism.”

Additionally, Hall clarifies that Beef + Lamb Inc is mandated to domestic marketing campaigns and is simply concerned with communicating the message to the consumer. She says the actual environmental strategy for farmers is done by a separate branch, Beef + Lamb NZ Ltd which is based in Wellington. 

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