• Broccoli vs. Milk

    Getting back to the important issue of why we see commercials for one food commodity, milk say (“Got milk?”) and not another, like broccoli, two points (h/t comments at Treehugger):

    1. There is a broccoli ad campaign in Canada, apparently.

    2. Some food industries are better funded than others. Dairy and pork both are able to fund advertising with “checkoff dollars.”

    [Checkoff] organizations are responsible for familiar American advertising campaigns, including “Milk Does a Body Good,” the Got Milk? milk moustache series, “Pork. The Other White Meat“, “The Incredible, Edible Egg“, and “Beef: It’s What’s for Dinner.”

    Because individual producers of nearly homogeneous agricultural commodities cannot easily convince consumers to choose one egg or orange or a single cut of beef over another, they often have joined together in commodity promotion programs to use generic advertising in an effort to expand total demand for the commodity, with the objective of helping their own sales as well. Activities are intended to expand both domestic and export demand; examples include advertising, nutrition education, research to improve product quality and appeal, market research studies, and technical assistance. These activities are often self-funded through assessments on marketings – hence, the name check-off programs.

    Of course this just backs the question up a step to, why are checkoff organizations formed in some industries and not others?

    Later: A third point: in a must-read post on the Elmo/broccoli study, Kevin Drum reveals its deficiencies.

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