Is Pig the Other White Meat?

I try not to cover the same company’s ads more than once if I can help it, but when they’re as bad as this, it’s open season.

The National Pork Board wants you to eat more pig meat. So they hired an ad agency to create an unappealing ad with bad design and dreadful copy. The only explanation I can think of is that the National Pork Board actually wants people to eat less pig meat, because that’s the effect this ad will have.

This ad is a fake testimonial. A fictitious person writes about going to the bowling alley “once every year or two,” and realizing how much fun it was. He or she makes a mental note to do it again, but never really gets around to it. (Notice how they use crappy looking typewriter style type to make it look like an actual real person sat down and wrote this nonsense.)

The fake person goes on to write:

Unfortunately, I’m the same way with The Other White Meat. Whenever I order carnitas at a restaurant or fix a pork roast on Sunday, I always think, “Wow, this is great. I should have pork more often.”

This ad copy is so phony, so transparent, so insipid, that it’s actually funny. Notice how instead of saying pig meat or pork, they use the euphemism The Other White Meat. Imagine walking into a grocery store and asking for a pound of The Other White Meat. They’d look at you like you were off your nut.

How did the National Pork Board get away with calling pork The Other White Meat, anyway? Chicken is white meat. Pig isn’t white meat—it’s red meat. If you don’t believe me, take a look at it sometime. It’s red.

From Wikipedia:

Given nutritional concerns, meat producers are eager to have their products considered as “white”, and the United States National Pork Board has positioned pork as “the other white meat”, alongside poultry; however, meats which are red when raw and turn white on cooking, like pork, are categorized by the United States Department of Agriculture as red meats.

So the USDA categorizes pork as red meat. The National Pork Board says, “Screw that, we’re going to call it white meat.”

So everything about this ad is fake. A fake person writes a fake testimonial with fake typewritten type talking about fake white meat.

How is this going to help sell pig?

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2 responses to “Is Pig the Other White Meat?

  1. I agree with the comment on the bad copy, and even the visual effects are bad. Why would you blur out the copy to white? It makes it harder to read. Plus there is not selling point to the ad. It leads nowhere.

    Other then that, the ad has potential. The facts about pork being considered red meat by the USDA has nothing to do with the ad. It is basically a positioning strategy that builds from something we are all familiar with. You already know one white meat so it is easier for you to understand when the ad says “The other white meat.” You get it in like .02 seconds. That is great, print ads need to read that quick. For the most part print ads have a 2 second window to catch the viewers attention.

    • Your comment demonstrates that you have completely missed the point. You are essentially saying it’s a good ad because the reader gets the message. I’m saying it’s not because one could make a case that it’s false advertising.