Greenfield Meat shows the impact of farming practices

The Maple Leaf brand is aiming to educate consumers on why it's important to buy meat raised without antibiotics.


Maple Leaf Foods’ Greenfield Natural Meat is taking a different approach to its “make meat right” brand message in a new digital campaign aimed at educating Canadians about the use of antibiotics in farm animals.

The campaign spot highlights the pitfalls of having 80% of all antibiotics in North America (or more than 10 million kilograms per year) be given to farm animals. Filmed on a farm in Essa, Ontario with blue and white capsules to help illustrate the scale of the problem, the video explains how the overuse of antibiotics makes those used by people less effective. It ends with the brand asserting its commitment to affecting change across the industry, so that “antibiotics keep working for those we care about.”

Wunderman Thompson (the agency previously known as J. Walter Thompson) led the campaign, which is running on digital and YouTube, Facebook and Instagram through June.

While the majority of Canadians are concerned about the overuse of antibiotics in animal feed, their concern has not translated to choosing meat raised without antibiotics, says D’Arcy Finley, VP of brand marketing at Maple Leaf. For example, company research shows that only 34% of Canadians buy meat raised without antibiotics every year. This, in turn, has prevented the meat industry from overhauling its practices. Finley says Greenfield wanted to draw consumers’ attention to the issue to help fulfill its commitment of “making meat right.”

Children are prominently featured in the creative, because they are the most vulnerable when it comes to bacterial infections and stand to benefit the most from a world in which concern over antibiotic resistance is no longer an issue.

Launched by Maple Leaf in 2016, the Greenfield brand has advocated eating meat in moderation through its “Meatless Mondays” campaign. The company is now working towards eliminating gestation crates and reducing food insecurity, says Finley. These goals are consistent with Maple Leaf’s company-wide sustainability pillars and “real food” movement.

Greenfield has previously run wild postings and ads on TV, but it has primarily aimed to build equity on digital and social, channels that are “ideal” for finding and targeting like-minded individuals who care about the issue, says Maple Leaf’s Kate Baresford, VP of marketing for sustainable meat.

Going digital with the latest campaign has enabled Greenfield to target groups like “green living enthusiasts” and “conscientious urban consumers,” and to generate conversation through its “#meatmaderight” call-to-action, she says.

Greenfield has worked with Wunderman Thompson in the past, as part of group of agency partners. Last year’s “Meatless Mondays” work was done by Havas Canada, under former VP and creative director Cory Eisentraut. In June, Eisentraut joined J. Walter Thompson as an ECD alongside Ari Elkouby.