July 29, 2016

Meaningful Marketing: An example

3 minute read, in Marketing / Method & Craft

We don’t like to toot our own horn, but when we got a note from international food, environment, and cities expert Wayne Roberts about how much he loves an ad we worked on, we thought it might be worth breaking down the strategic consideration behind it.

The ad in question is for Fiesta Farms, Toronto’s largest independent grocery retailer (and garden centre!)

This is the ad:


When I asked Wayne what he thought was so great about it, he said:

  • Easy and quick to read
  • Lots of info but laid out like an infographic
  • Really gets it that we all want to do good in ways that work for us and our schedule, and provides exactly the advice we need –some phrases to use, some snacks to prepare, some ways to greet people that won’t offend
  • There’s no “ad”; whoever did this is acting like a friend and neighbor, not like someone who wants something from me
  • A little logo on the bottom (LFP) says he (Joe Virgona) was one of the first and strongest supporters of local and sustainable food in the city. Which means he is using his success to give others a helping hand, not to push other people down

The first two points are self-explanatory.

The third point describes exactly what we were going for.

The ad was supposed to launch in the winter issue on the back cover of Edible Toronto/Golden Horseshoe. For those of you who don’t know the publication, it celebrates the initiatives of people doing good in this region’s food sector and surfaces the challenges they face. It’s a pleasure to read and produced on nice, uncoated paper.

For reasons beyond our control, the issue was shelved until the spring quarter. The original date would have had the issue in stores just as the first new Canadians arrived from Syria. We made a few adjustments to it and though it wasn’t quite as timely, the ad was still useful and relevant (our key metrics). Its sentiments aligned with the tone of our current less divisive government leaders in Toronto, in Canada, and on the US campaign trail.

The fourth point is true, but it’s been part of our broader brand platform and marketing strategy for Fiesta going on seven years or so now. Instead of irritating people by interrupting them to talk about ourselves/our products, we use our touch-points to reflect/celebrate/consider the many reasons food matters to Fiesta’s audiences. In Fiesta’s capacity as a retailer with lots of traffic, the brand is a peer in several communities of interest and participates or leads accordingly.

The last point is only about us in so far as our efforts have always been about getting at and serving up the ideas at the heart of the store. The family who own it and their team aren’t activists, academics, policy-makers (or even wonks)–they’re just regular citizens navigating complex times, making and offering better choices all the time. So when Local Food Plus explained the breadth of their certification, Fiesta took it on like no other retailer in the city could.

All that to say, thanks Wayne. And I hope the sentiments in the ad reach a much broader audience than Edible Toronto’s distribution.

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