Zabiha hits the road on a brand-building mission

Now a market leader in halal meat, the brand is looking to establish stronger connections with Muslim communities outside of Toronto.


Zabiha Halal has renewed its “Sharing Halal” campaign for a third year, this time widening its scope to include the stories of people from across the country and more diverse backgrounds.

“With the first two campaigns, we focused heavily within the Greater Toronto Area,” says Lucas Metz, brand manager for Zabiha Halal at its parent company, Maple Lodge Farms. “We knew from our research that there are large pockets of halal consumers all across the country, and our objective was to bring this to all of Canada and talk to some of those regions less represented by advertising.”

This year, “Sharing Halal” is driven by a “road trip” series of online videos featuring Muslim comedian Hoodo Hersi as its host. From her home, Hersi interviews three different Canadian Muslim women who have launched businesses that honour their faith and support their communities in Edmonton, Vancouver and London, Ontario.

Telling authentic stories of real leaders in communities across Canada was important for Zabiha because those stories help drive overall engagement in the campaign’s social media outreach under the hashtag #SharingHalal, says Metz, where it is encouraging consumers to share stories of Muslim leaders in their own communities.

“A big part of the campaign this year is the user-generated content component, and in order to encourage people to share their stories, we needed to tell top-notch, real stories from people that could be used as inspiration,” he explains. “It’s not always easy to share about yourself, putting your story and community out there. But that’s the crux of the campaign, and the success of it is based on those real people.”

Zabiha is a leader in the halal category, and because of its market position, Sarah Khetty, director of marketing for Maple Lodge Farms says the company can invest less time and money in awareness of its products and more time establishing connections with the community that buys them.

“We know and trust that consumers understand who we are and what we represent in terms of product,” she explains. “So we can create this really emotional, deeper connection.”

However, while the scope of the campaign is wider this year, the brand “didn’t have a lot more money” to tell the stories it wanted to tell, Khetty says. But it was able to trim production costs because of the COVID-19 pandemic, as consumers are more receptive to content that “might be a little bit less polished” and having the host and subjects not be in the same place.

“Sharing Halal” is running primarily over Facebook, Youtube and Instagram with “smaller social buys to support additional content,” says Metz. Email components and a landing page on Zabiha’s website round out the campaign.

Riddoch Communications handled the campaign creative, while King Ursa handled digital, Media Dimensions was responsible for media and Craft handled public relations.