Freshii tries to hijack Super Bowl conversations for good

The social campaign aims to amplify the healthy casual QSR's ongoing work around food security.

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Freshii is using some word play and a social campaign to turn the Super Bowl into an opportunity to amplify its food insecurity messaging.

In a move that launched this week, the healthy casual QSR is hijacking the Big Game by asking social media users to replace any use of a “#superbowl” hashtag with “#SoupOrBowl” in the days leading up to Feb. 2. Anyone who shares the tag will get $1 off their next purchase of a soup or bowl at Freshii, in addition to having a soup or bowl donated on their behalf to someone in need, through Second Harvest in Canada and Food Rescue in the U,S.

Georgina Gray, senior director of marketing at Freshii, says the Super Bowl initiative (developed in-house) was a cheeky way to do something good while keeping with the brand’s messaging about bringing healthy food to the masses.

“’#SoupOrBowl’ is so natural and intuitive to our business and we were shocked that not only had the hashtag not been used, but that the URL wasn’t used either,” she says. The brand promptly purchased the domain, which will be redirecting it back to the proprietary website.

Food insecurity is a key CSR initiative for Freshii, which is also involved with Feedback, a mobile platform to encourage diners to buy surplus food at a discount of up to 75% off. It has also supported Second Harvest, Toronto’s Parkdale Community Foodbank and Chef Jagger Gordon’s Feed it Forward.

For “SoupOrBowl,” Freshii is using organic and paid social as well as public relations. The initiative also has an in-store component, with signage available to franchise partners.

Gray says the brand is engaging the broader consumer beyond the sports fan, but is also “engaging its Freshii ecosystem and core consumer with the concept. This is not the first time the QSR has been engaged in sports. It has partnered with MLSE and the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets, and Gray says Freshii “believes that active, healthy lifestyles are a core foundation of the brand.” It also has locations in a few arenas and stadiums.

Though Freshii has been expanding into retail with pre-packaged wraps, meal boxes and “energii” bites available at Walmart, the initiative meant to drive traffic in-store, Gray says, and the brand is looking for engagement rates and number of hashtag used as its KPIs.