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Milne sells free range

MILNE AgriGroup subsidiary Mt Barker Free Range Chicken will launch its first branding campaign next month as part of a significant retail growth strategy.

Mt Barker Free Range Chicken has doubled its production capacity in the past year and, with new retail heavy-weight Woolworths launching a free range product to the market, the company is keen to build and defend its brand through a $250,000 advertising campaign.

According to Milne Agri-Group general manager marketing Boaz Kogon, the main aim of the campaign is to promote and defend the brand by communicating to consumers that Mt Barker Free Range Chicken is healthier and tastier to eat than alternative brands.

“There were two main reasons for this campaign,” Mr Kogon said.

“One was to differentiate us from competitors. Some of those are small back-yard operators and there is no regulation for free-range produce.

“We’ve adopted a protocol based on ones operating in the eastern States and overseas, and we control our processes from beginning to end, whereas some of the smaller players may not.

“The big competitor coming in is Woolworths, which has recently launched its house brand name.

“Because of that we didn’t want to brand just free-range chicken, we wanted to brand our chicken.”

Mr Kogon said the company also wanted to communicate the reasons why free-range chicken was more expensive for consumers. 

“Free-range chicken is more expensive to produce but more and more people understand that you are what you eat and they question whether they want to eat something that has been on antibiotics or hormones,” he said.

“We wanted to communicate that our chickens are healthier and tastier, that’s why it’s more expensive and that’s the brand we’re defending.”

303 Advertising won the Mt Barker Free Range Chicken account against four other agencies, and according to 303 Advertising account director Sean Lee, the basis of the campaign was to make Mt Barker synonymous with free-range chicken.

“We filmed the commercial in Mt Barker and all of the people in the ad are people that live in Mt Barker,” Mr Lee said.

He said cinema provided a genuine brand builder for Mt Barker Free Range Chicken.

“It’s an unusual ad for cinema. Val Morgan actually had to create a new category for it because nothing suitable existed,” Mr Lee said.

Cinema advertising was a good medium for this campaign, he said, because it was less expensive and better to segment geographically than television.

“They [Milne AgriGroup] didn’t want to create too much demand because they wouldn’t have the capacity to fulfil orders,” he said.  “With cinema we select geographic regions and target select audiences.”

The western suburbs, the hills, and the South West are the target market areas.

The campaign commences on the busiest day of the year for cinemas – December 26.

Mr Kogon said Milne AgriGroup intended to maintain advertising beyond the initial campaign but was mindful of supply and demand limitations.

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