Growing turkey share

The Turkey Farmers of Canada look to change meat perceptions and boost consumption of the bird year-round.

Thanksgiving is in the far rear-view mirror, but a national organization representing farmers, poultry and egg processors has banded together to get people to “Think Turkey (“Pensez Dindon” in French) and drive consumption year-round.

In this, the group’s first national bilingual campaign since 2004, Turkey Farmers of Canada is hoping to boost the bird’s profile with a five-year, fully integrated advertising, digital, experiential, PR, influencer, and paid social plan.

Phil Boyd, executive director, Turkey Farmers of Canada, says its goal is to showcase the protein’s tastiness, healthiness and versatility, as well as its ease of cooking. “The ‘Think Turkey’ campaign is different from any campaign we’ve run before,” Boyd says. “We’re looking to shift perceptions of turkey… and the spirit of the campaign is playful and designed to grab the attention of Canadians with humour.”

“Turkey can easily do the job of beef, chicken, pork and lamb in countless recipes,” he says of the campaign, which showcases different ways to consume turkey in the “All Kinds of Turkey” spot. In it, a butcher rattles off a laundry list of turkey menu items Forrest Gump-style.

Boyd tells strategy that the campaign was launched because turkey sales have plateaued. He says the industry decided to band together to take action, and help consumers associate the protein with more than just holiday occasions.

When it comes to the meat category, turkey consumption is 4.20 kg per person, a pittance compared to chicken at 33.13 kg, beef at 25.17 kg and pork at 21.35 kg, according to per capita consumption data from Stats Canada. However, when it comes to the competitive landscape, Boyd believes there’s enough room on Canadians’ plates for turkey and other proteins to join the meal rotation. He says the organization’s goal at the end of the five-year campaign is to increase turkey consumption by 20%.

The campaign’s target demographic is primary shoppers and meal planners – women age 25 to 45, he says. The organization is also looking to connect with new Canadians and millennials who may not have turkey in their diet or who have never cooked with turkey before.

The campaign launched in May with a national outdoor campaign that includes 680 billboards and transit shelter ads strategically placed near grocery stores in major markets.

Turkey Farmers of Canada has engaged Zeno Group as its AOR to plan and execute the campaign, while enlisting True Media to lead its national outdoor, paid search and TV buys.