Colorado Beef brings new campaign to life with Blackmon and McCaffrey |

Colorado Beef brings new campaign to life with Blackmon and McCaffrey


Colorado Beef

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The upbeat sound of violins accompanied by Sam Elliott’s deep drawl is easily the most recognized beef campaign in the U.S.

Since it was launched in the early ’90s, the “Beef. It’s what’s for dinner,” campaign was designed to promote the beef industry on a national level.

At the Colorado level, the Colorado Beef Council has promoted the industry, too, and this year implemented a new — you also could say athletic — strategy.

Rockies and Broncos fans who listen to the games on 850 KOA are sure to have heard Charlie Blackmon and Ed McCaffrey promote the state’s beef industry.

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The two spokespeople for Colorado Beef were part of the council’s new marketing approach which included a heavier social media presence, in addition to the traditional radio slots.


Blackmon’s commercial was in conjunction with an iHeartRadio campaign, which also featured local radio personalities. Both Blackmon and McCaffrey were part of a three-video series that hit social media beginning in June.

The quirky commercials are cheesy enough that they could be used for the dairy industry, but that was the point.

Tami Arnold, the director of marketing for the Colorado Beef Council, said they wanted the videos to stand out and be entertaining; those are the types of videos that are quickly shared on social media.

Arnold said the partnership with 850 KOA, which broadcasts news radio, national programs, such as Rush Limbaugh, and the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies games, has been in place for more than 20 years. But social media was one place that was important to hit in this campaign.

The millennial generation, Arnold said, have a big focus on eating at home, rather than constantly eating out, and Colorado Beef wanted to reach that generation to tell the story of how beef is an important protein and there are many ways it can be cooked or used.

It’s no secret social media is an important marketing tool, especially when millennials are the target, but the bigger secret is how to draw their attention in the first place.

“You have to create a product that is going to stand out, apart from the other videos, specifically on Facebook,” Arnold said. “Everyone likes the 20 second ‘Tasty’ videos where it’s boom, boom, boom, here’s the product. But when it comes to having that one-on-one time in engaging with the celebrity, specifically an athlete, you’ve got to have something that’s going to stand out on it’s own.”

The way Colorado Beef decided to stand out was with the light-hearted videos that also highlight the beef industry.

Blackmon had to have the breakup talk with filet mignon because there are many other cuts and ways to eat beef. And McCaffrey showed team spirit for each of his four sons.

Arnold said getting athletes were not just important because of fan recognition, but also because it promotes beef as a protein option supported by athletes.

Arnold said she was grateful to get both of the well-known and successful figures in the Colorado sports world.

McCaffrey is well-known spokesperson, so even non-Broncos’ fans recognize him, plus after playing with the Broncos from 1995-2003, he eventually became a color analyst for KOA for the Broncos’ broadcast, which he stepped down from before this season. Plus, with the football talent his sons are known for, including Carolina Panther’s Christian McCaffrey, who was the No. 8 overall pick in this year’s draft.

Arnold said with athletes like Blackmon, there were concerns about his ability to stay healthy all season or if he would be traded.

He was already an All-Star and won a Silver Slugger award before the season started. But this season turned out even better for Blackmon, who made his second All-Star appearance, which included him competing in the Home Run Derby and just clinched the National League batting title and the major league RBI record by a leadoff hitter.

But the personality for both also played a huge role in the campaign.

Blackmon, who’s known for his quirky personality with the beard to match, was “perfect” for Arnold’s vision of the campaign.

“He’s got a great sense of humor,” she said.

And with McCaffrey, Arnold knows he is recognized because of his role with the Broncos. And, all of his sons, even his youngest son, Luke, who is a junior quarterback at Valor Christian High School, are standout football players. So in one of the videos Colorado Beef featured McCaffrey with gear from the Green Bay Packers, where his oldest son, Max, played in 2016; he now plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars. McCaffrey also had gear from Valor Christian, the Carolina Panthers — where Christian plays running back — and the University of Michigan — where Dylan plays quarterback.

Arnold said she wants to sign both back next year, seeing how well-receptive they have been.

“We couldn’t have asked for better with either one of them,” she said.

— Fox is a reporter for The Fence Post. Contact her with story ideas, questions or comments at (970) 392-4410 or at Connect with her on Twitter @FoxonaFarm.


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