Two advertising campaigns highlighting eggs as nutritious and convenient are making waves -- the airwaves -- in markets from coast to coast.
This month, the Park Hurst, Ill.-based American Egg Board conducted a million-dollar radio blitz on three major radio networks. The 30-second commercials reminded consumers that eggs are an inexpensive, convenient and natural food, rich in protein and other important nutrients. Featuring catchy musical jingles, the commercials ran on more than 3,000 radio stations during busy weekday drive-time hours and on weekend mornings, when consumers are most likely to be thinking about food shopping. The campaign complemented AEB's year-long "Think Fast. Think Eggs" TV advertising campaign.
AEB is also planning to enter the aisles and is coordinating a first-of-its-kind supermarket chain cooperative promotion, from April 25 to May 22. The egg board will run radio commercials in 12 major markets, such as Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, Tampa, Minneapolis, Dallas, Phoenix, Denver and Los Angeles, and team up with supermarket chains that agree to feature eggs. The 60-second commercials, similar to the February spots, will include 45 seconds for AEB's message, and 15 seconds for the cooperating supermarket chain.
Both campaigns were timed to drive sales after the winter holidays and Easter, traditionally slow times for egg farmers, officials said.
The positive image projected in the ads represents a sea change for eggs. After all, it wasn't so long ago that they were seen as a villain that contributed to elevated cholesterol and other health problems. Like meats, eggs benefited from the high-protein diets that were all the rage last year. Sales of UPC-coded fresh eggs increased more than 19% from Jan. 25, 2003, to Jan. 24, 2004, according to ACNielsen Label Trends. Sales dipped slightly, dropping 1%, for the 52 weeks ending Jan. 22, 2005, though fresh organic egg sales continued to soar over that period, increasing 13.5%.
In making their case, AEB pointed out that only milk turns faster than eggs, and that compared to other categories, eggs have higher gross margins and lower handling costs. To maximize springtime sales, the organization even suggested installing mini coolers stocked with eggs near key customer intercepts, such as the checkout line.