Carnivore Club solves couple conflicts with monthly meat

New campaign promotes cured meat subscription service

The Carnivore Club believes it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission — and with a monthly gift of select artisanal meats, you can secure forgiveness before you’ve even done wrong. That’s the message behind the Toronto e-commerce startup’s first full-scale ad campaign, created by Bensimon Byrne. The humorous campaign encourages couples to think of its monthly meat selections as “f–kup insurance,” which one partner can give to the other to ensure forgiveness when they mess up. “There are a lot of products that have marketed themselves as ‘forgiveness,’ like flowers or diamonds,” said Dave Thornhill, senior writer at Bensimon. “We wanted to be the first product that owns preemptive forgiveness.” Tim Ray, founder of the Carnivore Club, said he wanted to put a name to a common experience, and potentially create a message with a life of its own. “The idea of coining the nice little things you do throughout the year as f–kup insurance — and then doing a comedy on gifting a monthly box of meat to your spouse as f–kup insurance — we thought people in their late 20s early 30s would relate, and it definitely could have some longevity,” he said. Ray founded the Carnivore Club after a successful IndieGoGo campaign in late 2013. The monthly cured meat curation and delivery service took off earlier this year when it secured a $200,000 investment on Dragon’s Den. The backing gave the Club the opportunity to ramp up its marketing, bringing on Bensimon to design the campaign, FutureFuture to create the microsite and 88Creativeto work social and digital media channels. The ad essentially recreates the opening scene of college comedy Old School, but with twist — since the cheating wife has bought her husband f–kup insurance, she’s preemptively made up for infidelity (no matter how weird it gets). It plays on the same College Humour-style relationship comedy the Club used in its IndieGoGo launch video, though Ray said they wanted to dial back the gender stereotypes to make the brand more accessible. He said the earlier video drew some criticism for its over-the-top portrayal of a smoothie-drinking, yoga-obsessed vegan girlfriend. The campaign includes a parody insurance website, featuring cheerful customer testimonials about wrongs that have been righted with a Carnivore Club subscription — like booking a carpet cleaner on game day, or accidentally throwing out your wife’s grandmother’s ashes. Thornhill said they wanted to make clear that infidelity wasn’t the only mistake meat could make up for. “Are you prone to accidents, misunderstandings, brain farts, stupid suggestions, lapses in judgment, forgetfulness, unintentional insults, or terrible ideas? Then F-Up Insurance is right for you,” the site proclaims. For now the ads will run primarily on YouTube and social channels, in U.S., Canadian and European markets where Carnivore Club is available. But Ray and Thornhill said they have ambitions to make f–kup insurance a “larger cultural phenomenon.” This article first appeared in Marketing Magazine

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