Back in 1995, an innovative PR firm or in-house marketing genius invented the famous “save the cow” marketing strategy for Chick-fil-A. For twenty-one years now, this award-winning ad campaign has helped the Chick-fil-A brand differentiate itself from the crowded beef burger landscape. Kudos to them for their competitive creativity. If only it didn’t come at the beef industry’s expense.
Negative ad campaigns seem to be the only way to win political elections in current times, but are they the best way to promote food brands? I guess it’s really not too different from the strategy employed by many in the organic industry where they differentiate their organic items by throwing rocks at traditional agriculture. We all get why that happens; because it works. The makers of many organic brands have convinced millions of mostly millennials that GMOs are bad, traditionally raised fruits and vegetables are bad, and pretty much anything other than “organic” and “GMO-free” is downright dangerous. Let’s throw traditional agriculture under the bus to make our stuff sell more. Similarly, Chick-fil-A has inadvertently brainwashed an entire generation into thinking that eating bird-brained chickens is morally superior to eating those clever, ever-so-adorable Holsteins.