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From the Editor

No matter what hardships the masonry industry endures, we all have to keep in mind that this industry is not somewhere that others haven't been before. This is not the first time an industry has hit hard times or had to compete against other evolving technologies.

Of course, the saying goes "Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it." So, let's start learning.

"Beef: It's What's for Dinner"
In 1992, consumers first heard the stoic voice of Robert Mitchum simply stating, "Beef: It's what's for dinner." At first we probably all laughed and wondered what had gotten into the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, who had sponsored the ads.

Ten years later (and now with actor Sam Elliott providing vocals), no one with any business sense is laughing. This well-planned campaign has pulled the beef industry out of several lows and continued to keep their products on American tables, despite turbulent times and heavy competition.

How could a five-word statement do all that? It's not just the phrase, but a well-planned marketing campaign consisting of magazine, newspaper and broadcast advertising, and a web site to back it up. Consumers who mosey over to the Internet site receive recipes, nutritional information and access to "Ask an Expert." The Association also takes the opportunity to answer every single "beef" that consumers may have with beef.

To add to this potent combination, when the campaign ran in 2003, more than 92% of the adult target audience were reached by the advertising an average of 13 times — for less than a penny per person.

"Got Milk?"
After suffering from declining sales and seeing its cousin, the beef industry, doing so well with its campaign, the milk industry decided to get in on the act. In 1994, the Milk Processors of California launched the familiar print advertisements sporting famous celebrities with milk mustaches.

Very similar to masonry, the milk industry had different groups who were working separately to achieve the same goal: selling milk. The introduction of the mustache ads, and then a decision to join all of the members of the industry for a collaborative campaign, gave birth to the famous "Got Milk?" ads in 1997.

Almost taking the beef industry's play-book in hand, the milk industry has subsequently created equally gratifying advertisements and a web site that gives a logical explanation or solution to many of the reasons why people might not drink milk.

We are now starting to see the masonry industry pick up a similar marketing playbook. MCAA announced its new joint marketing plan at the 2004 Masonry Showcase, which we will

discuss thoroughly in the May issue. Also, this is a special promotional issue of Masonry for architects and specifiers at the CSI Construct America show in Chicago.

Please see page 25 for the Special CSI: Designing with Masonry promotional section.



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