Amid growing consumer support for local and independent businesses, Mama Earth Organics has launched its first major advertising campaign urging would-be customers to take a “Big Box Detox.”
The billboard and social campaign from Toronto advertising agency The Garden features colourful images of Mama Earth Organics’ array of fresh products, accompanied by headlines like “Time for a big-box detox?” “Think bigger than big box” and “Shop small box for a change.”
While Ontario-based Mama Earth has engaged in some social and flyer advertising in the past, this represents the local food delivery service’s first major marketing campaign, says CEO Mary Graham. The goal is to stand out amid a glut of grocery delivery options and explain why it’s different, she says.
Despite the messaging on the billboards, Graham says the campaign is not specifically targeting big-box retailers, but instead getting consumers to give more thought to the traditional food system.
“[The goal is to] cut through the clutter of all the convenience messaging, to get consumers to pause and think if convenience is enough,” she says. “Sure, our target customer cares about convenience, but they want more from their food choices–they also want to discover great food and they want to help with making conscious choices around shopping local and sustainability.”
One of only 230 Certified B Corporations in Canada, Mama Earth has grown to 11,000 members who subscribe to either a weekly or bi-weekly delivery of what Graham describes as a “highly curated” selection of organic produce, sustainable meat and seafood, Ontario artisanal food and prepared foods from its own kitchen.
The campaign features billboards running in Kitchener, Milton and Mississauga through the month, as well as an online component including Instagram and Facebook ads, static ads, GIFs and social video.
Timed to coincide with consumers’ post-holiday desire to eat healthier, the campaign is also intended as a subtle reminder that by shopping with Mama Earth, customers are supporting a network of more than 130 local farmers, artisans and chefs that comprise its supplier roster.
Big-box retailers have seen a marked uptick in sales during the pandemic, but consumer sentiment appears to be increasingly shifting towards supporting local business as the lockdown—and its associated store closings—drags on.
In a recent survey of Canadians by payment company Paybright, two-thirds of respondents (66%) said shopping local was a factor in their decision about where to shop, while 69% indicated shopping at Canadian-owned businesses was important.