Chicken Farmers hatch a contemporary campaign

Campaign follows launch of labelling program in 2014

Chicken Farmers of Canada has launched a summer marketing campaign to promote its “Raised by a Canadian Farmer” label.

The Ottawa-based association launched the labelling program in the 2014 to help shoppers choose homegrown chicken.  The label tells consumers the chicken is raised in Canada and meets the highest standards in nutrients, food safety and animal care.

“We’re focused on building awareness and reinforcing consumers’ already healthy image of Canadian chicken,” says Lisa Bishop-Spencer, manager of communications at Chicken Farmers of Canada.

“Before, it was more about introducing the brand. Now we’re morphing into ‘this brand stands for something.’ Canadian-raised means quality, nutritious and delicious chicken that you can serve to your family.”

The new campaign includes four TV spots that centre on families having a backyard barbecue with chicken. Print ads promote barbecue chicken recipes with a throw to, which has a database of more than 700 recipes. Online, customers can enter a contest for the chance to win a $5,000 backyard makeover.

“We’re truly taking a fresher, lighter, more contemporary approach to meal preparation featuring fresh Canadian chicken,” says Patricia McQuillan, president of Brand Matters, which managers the advertising program. (Rogers Media produced the creative.)

The TV spots are airing on various Rogers Media channels and print ads appear in Chatelaine. In Quebec, the media buy includes TVA properties and Coup de Pouce.

Chicken Farmers of Canada is also promoting the campaign on its social media channels and recently held a Twitter party that garnered 47 million impressions.

With the hashtag #MPChickenHero, the Twitter party promoted another contest that invites MPs to submit a recipe for Chicken Farmers of Canada’s annual Great Canadian Chicken BBQ on Parliament Hill on Canada Day. The winning MP’s riding will receive a $10,000 donation to a local food bank. The second prize is a $5,000 donation and third prize is $2,500. Twitter users were invited to contact their local MP and ask them to submit a recipe.

“It gives a chance for MPs to see what we’re about, but more importantly, it gives them a chance to secure a donation from Chicken Farmers of Canada,” says Bishop-Spencer.

New research from Chicken Farmers of Canada shows that 85% of Canadian shoppers believe that it’s important that the chicken that they buy is raised in Canada. In addition, 84% want to know where their chicken comes from. A previous study found that almost 80% of Canadians would trust a Canadian-raised chicken label more if it came directly from a farmer’s organization rather than from a manufacturer or retailer.

Within a year of the launch of the label, the brand obtained 27% awareness. “It’s a slow build… We’re not a major company with lots of advertising,” says Bishop-Spencer. “For us, the most important thing is the credibility behind the brand.”

already the number-one meat in Canada, so we’re not trying to achieve that kind of positioning,” she adds. “But we want to make sure that Canadians know that they’re making the right choice and that when they’re choosing Canadian chicken.”

Chicken Farmers of Canada has two more campaigns in the work for this year: a back-to-school campaign that will focus on moms preparing school lunches, and a “pre-festive campaign” that promotes chicken during the holidays.

The organization doesn’t want to steal turkey’s thunder during the holidays, so the campaign will focus on helping Canadians make their holidays go a little smoother with chicken. “We want to make sure that we’re on people’s minds for things like appetizers and crockpot meals while you’re shopping,” says Bishop-Spencer.

The Raised by a Canadian Farmer label was initially available for fresh raw chicken at grocery retailers, but the program has since expanded to frozen chicken, as well as chicken served at foodservice establishments.

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