{Strategy, Partner With Your Biggest Critic ✨} A few weeks ago I had a meeting with a fairly large and well known Vancouver based company to pitch some ideas for their marketing, and possibly land a future contract. This company is in an industry that the public is very critical of…. we’re talking protests etc. But behind this less than stellar image are a lot of hardworking and caring employees doing their best, and new ownership committed to building a for profit business model that creates conservation initiatives and public education. 

My suggestion to them was to start using mainstream media to promote their conservation work (they have avoided this previously in worry of inviting criticism), act in total transparency with the public and partner with influencers who are highly critical of their industry. When you work in a controversial industry there are generally alot of misconceptions on both sides, but as a company if you know you are doing good and have good intentions then why hide? Instead spread your message to as many people as possible- you will never win over everyone but you can win over some who may simply just not have had the facts to make a fully informed opinion. A couple examples of companies that have chosen this route. (To be clear I’m not the moral compass on ethics I JUST admire the marketing strategy of the mentioned)

McDonalds CANADA- “Ask Us Anything” Campaign. McDonald’s launched an online campaign where they invited the public to ask them anything regarding their restaurants and practices, and they would answer on their website EVERY QUESTION. They addressed it all from the pink slime, to the treatment of animals and even why the fries never mold. As someone who is very critical of the animal agriculture industry I was very surprised to be (somewhat) satisfied by the answers provided. 

A&W CANADA- Partners with vegan social influencers Erin Ireland & Jillian Harris to promote new Beyond Meat products. Why would vegans ever want to partner with a company that’s responsible for the slaughter of thousands of animals? Because they want people to start eating less meat and they know to get that result rather than shame these companies and the public it’s more effective to collaborate and promote the meatless options.

McDonalds, Our Food, Your Questions


Erin Ireland for A&W Via Vancouver Courier