Benaud bats for lamb

The West Australian

Iconic Australian cricket commentator Richie Benaud has joined Meat and Livestock Australia's annual campaign to promote lamb on Australia Day.

In the new television commercial, Benaud calls on the original "Lambassador" Sam Kekovich as well as a host of other national icons to join him in bringing Australians together to share lamb on Australia's national day.

About two-thirds (67 per cent) of Aussies claim that lamb is the most patriotic meat and in the past three years, lamb sales on Australia Day have increased by an average of 34 per cent.

MLA central marketing and industry insights general manager Michael Edmonds said a well-loved Australian such as Mr Benaud captured the spirit of Australia's national day by doing what Aussies loved to do - organising a lamb barbecue and a game of backyard cricket.

"Having Richie on board allows us to really encapsulate and celebrate the spirit of Australia Day," he said. "He is as iconic to Australians as lamb itself, so we couldn't think of anyone more fitting to join our Lambassador Sam Kekovich in this next chapter of the Australia Day lamb campaign.

"The annual campaign, which has been running for 10 years, continues to be a success and has significantly contributed to promoting lamb to consumers and ensuring growth in domestic demand of lamb.

"We are proud that Richie will be an integral part of the 2015 campaign - he is enthusiastic and passionate about Aussie lamb and we are delighted that he has agreed to get behind our cause to sell more lamb this Australia Day."

The campaign includes television billboards, point-of-sale materials in retailers, targeted digital promotion and a suite of economical lamb meals using non-loin cuts including barbecued lamb ribs, mince koftas and lamb loin chops available on MLA's consumer-driven website weloveourlamb.com.au.

Consumers can also interact with the campaign through targeted online social media promotion across MLA's "We Love our Lamb" Facebook page.

A competition is also under way offering the opportunity for lamb lovers to spend their Australia Day with Benaud himself by uploading to the Facebook page their best impersonation of his legendary voice in his lamb barbecue call: "Top Lamb Chop That".

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