Mary Brown’s shows its love to Manitoba potato farmers

The QSR's latest multimedia campaign includes carving out a crop circle in one of its supplier's fields.

Mary-Browns-mainMary Brown’s is showing it’s buds with those who make spuds, with a new campaign that champions Manitoba farmers.

The fast food restaurant brand is launching a full multimedia strategy, part of an effort to to compete with multinationals like Popeyes and the KFCs as it prepares to open its 200th store location, according to Jeff Barlow, Mary Brown’s VP of marketing.

The QSR’s campaign draws attention to a fourth generation potato farmer – and Mary Brown’s supplier – Lyndon Thiessen and the love and care he puts into his crops.

While being “local” is now table stakes, Barlow says Mary Brown’s goes beyond that, and that it’s important to highlight that its fries are hand cut and not frozen. According to Barlow, there are few in its competitive set that who actually do this, as speed is the key consideration for most QSRs.

“We bring [potatoes] in in a burlap bag, and then we hand-cut them in store fresh and serve it that way,” Barlow says.

“It’s the same with our chicken,” Barlow adds, which is a whole one cut fresh and then served. “We are the only chain that I know of, other than independents that brings in whole chickens and cuts them in store, just like a butcher from the 1940s.”

The campaign includes a TV spot, digital banners, in store, e-blast, web and also a social media stunt that’s alluded to in the TV spot, comprising an “MB” logo crop circle sprayed into a field that is a wholly unique execution, Barlow claims.

The agency Rooftop used a spraying tractor, with just-launched technology by John Deere in which each spray nozzle can be controlled using software. The shop then fed “MB” into the program, which stands for both Mary Brown’s and Manitoba.

“Crop circles have been done, but never like this,” Barlow says.


Mary Brown’s push also includes a full year of content within Raptors broadcasts. The brand recently signed ambassador and “certified poutine expert” Canadian hooper Chris Boucher of the Toronto Raptors, part of the brand’s move to find different ways to engage with its mass appeal audience.

“It’s kind of a perfect storm. He’s our ambassador, he’s Canadian, he had a heck of a year in 2021, we’re showcasing a poutine, and he is from Montreal,” Barlow says.

Rooftop worked with Blue Ant Plus on YouTube content, mini documentary and support pieces, with the digital buy handled by boutique agency Kensington Grey.