Turkey Farmers reminds Canadians no other bird will do

The industry body takes an over-the-top approach during a key sales period.

The turkey farming industry is once again telling people to “Think Turkey” around the holidays, this time with a humorous meme-influenced campaign built around people’s disappointed reactions to protein alternatives. 

Coming alive this week, the creative features party guests engaging in hand-to-hand combat in reaction to there not being any turkeys being served over the holidays.

There is also an outdoor billboard campaign amplifying the message in key markets like Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver, which serve as PSAs that guests could react badly if they don’t get what they want.

“As we come out of the pandemic, we thought with humorous, creative campaign would resonate with people and give them a chuckle,” says Darren Ference, chair of Turkey Farmers of Canada.

OOH are a primary support medium as Canadians are back to work, on the road, and planning holiday trips. They’re designed to stand out, capture attention and remind people about turkey, Ference says.

Social media influencers will also be engaged to share their own over-the-top reactions on Instagram and TikTok to reinforce turkey’s place at the holiday table. The “It’s Turkey Time” creative will also be pulled through paid social, search, and retail.

According to Ference, the organization has been using social media for the last few years, and TikTok is a new tactic that it adopted this year.

“Think Turkey,” or “Pensez Dindon” in Quebec markets, where it works with the provincial poultry board, is part of a five-year marketing campaign aimed at raising awareness of turkey as a tasty everyday and holiday protein option.

When it comes to the competitive landscape, there are two markets: whole bird and processed. The former is based around traditional times like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, and Ference says there’s a lot of education required for new Canadians.

For 2020, excluding deli, an estimated 55.3 million kilograms of turkey and turkey products were purchased at retail by Canadians. Of that, 43.6 million of whole turkeys were purchased. In 2020, Canadian households consumed a total of 7.0 million whole turkeys, 41% of which were purchased for Christmas. With more families having large family gatherings this holiday, there is an opportunity to push those totals even higher during what is a key sales period for the sector.

Ad spend, Ference says, is in line with past efforts. Zeno Group is creative AOR for Turkey Farmers of Canada and produced the holiday campaign. True Media assisted with the media buy.