Zabiha Halal takes on Islamophobia

The fourth year of the "Sharing Halal" campaign aims to give its consumers a voice to promote understanding.


By Loukia Papadopoulos

Zabiha Halal has renewed its “Sharing Halal” campaign for the fourth year in a row, but this time it has a new goal: tackling Islamophobia.

“We started the campaign to allow Canadian Muslims a voice to share their own stories in their own words,” Sarah Khetty, marketing director for Zabiha Halal at parent company Maple Lodge Farms, tells strategy. “But over the years as the campaign has evolved, and especially given the events in London last year on June 6th when a Muslim family was attacked, we felt it was important this year to bring the campaign to a different space and talk about Islamophobia.”

Zabiha Halal commissioned Leger to conduct an online survey of 1,538 Canadians in April and found that one in four don’t trust those who belong to the Muslim faith. In order to tackle that distrust, the brand decided to produce a short video where Canadian Muslims could share their experiences with Islamophobia firsthand.

The video, called “Dear Canada,” was directed by Muslim Canadian director Adeel Shamsi and, according to Khetty, serves as an open letter from Muslim Canadians that aims to foster a deeper understanding of their personal experiences and encourage moving from mere tolerance to acceptance.

The “Dear Canada”  videos are housed on the “Sharing Halal” website, where Muslim Canadians are also encouraged to share their stories on Facebook and Instagram using the “#SharingHalal” hashtag. Zabiha Halal has also reached out to Muslim Canadian influencers for partnerships and has invested in social content amplified by paid support.

Past “Sharing Halal” campaigns have included things such as Muslim families telling their stories of immigrating to Canada, or those that have started small businesses supporting their communities.

Khetty says Zabiha Halal was ideally positioned to bring the experiences of Canadian Muslims to the forefront. The campaign may seem like it is targeting non-Muslims but, in reality, it is giving an opportunity to Canadian Muslims to express themselves honestly and promote understanding, an opportunity the brand’s consumer would appreciate.

“We are part of the daily lives of Canadian Muslims more than any other brand and as such we also represent their culture,” Khetty explains. “Beyond being a partner in bringing Canadian Muslims food, Zabiha Halal is also a community member that supports them and understands their challenges.”

But Khetty adds that at least partially speaking to non-Muslims is a valuable goal as well. “Supporting the Canadian Muslim community means that we are open to challenging stereotypes about them, and that means reaching out to a community beyond Muslims in some cases,” she says.

The campaign is running on YouTube and on OOH boards across Canada until the beginning of July. The rest of the campaign, which incldues digital and email marketing components, is running until the end of July.

Riddoch Communications handled the campaign creative while King Ursa handled digital and production. Media Dimensions was responsible for media.