10 Creative Marketing Campaigns for Vegan Products

My most popular blog post ever is called “10 most Creative Environmentally Friendly Marketing Campaigns“. I was astonished by the response I got after publishing that post.

This is what a typical day looks like on Sustainability Matters Daily:

Therefore, I decided to take this a step further. I wanted to dig a bit deeper into the marketing campaigns of eco-friendly products.

Now, I wanted to see how companies selling vegan products/services try to market themselves. After looking at around 100 different ads, I cherrypicked the best of them.

And that’s what you’re going to get in this article.

After working with online marketing for more than 10 years, I believe that a part of my skill set is to identify great marketing campaigns. Especially the ones who are running on online platforms.

In addition to that, I am trying to reduce my meat consumption (which is a project that goes very well..). And therefore, I am constantly trying to source new vegan products can be a part of my life.

Who is this article useful for?

Hopefully everyone that has an interest in vegan products and/or marketing. But I would say it’s especially useful for those who:

– Works in a company selling vegan products.
– Write a thesis or school project related to some type of marketing campaign for food products.
– Someone who just wants to see cool marketing campaigns (there are loads of you guys!).
– Marketing people that want inspiration. 🙂

Top 10 Creative, Funny and Smart Vegan Marketing Campaigns

Let’s begin.

#1: Impossible Whopper

Who would have thought that a Burger King hamburger could be healthy?

Well…let me present The Impossible Whooper.

Photo: Burger King.

Background story

In early 2019, Burger King made a bold choice when they spent an awful lot of marketing dollars on their new plant-based burger. The Whooper is already a famous burger, which gave them quite a lot of free customers.

All they did was to swap the beef with a plant-based patty…and whoops, they had a super cool brand new slogan: “100 % WHOPPER, 0 % BEEF!” :)

To CNBC, CEO of Burger King Joe Cil said that the new burger “was bringing back customers who had not returned in a while, as well as younger customers”.

#2: PETA: Behind the leather

Vegan leather is a niche that’s growing a lot. Killing animals for high-quality fashion items isn’t longer a thing that most people are comfortable with.

This short advertisement from PETA is one of the strongest I’ve seen. Just have a look:

You could argue that this isn’t exactly a “vegan leather marketing campaign”. However, these types of ads will definitely help vegan leather companies to sell more.

PS! I was also shocked when the first woman opened her bag….ewwwww!

Is this a real or fake experiment?

I’m not sure. The Youtube comment section is often a place to find the real truth:

Photo: Youtube.com.

And yes – I do agree that some of the reactions in the video seemed a bit fake. But that doesn’t take away the fact that it’s a super well made and smart campaign. It got people interested at least.

#3: “Melk is dodelijk” = “Milk is deadly”

This is a marketing campaign that got some serious traction in the media. A vegan-based company spent its hard-earned money on a campaign across buses, trams, and subway stations across the Netherlands.

This was the banner that was featured across several cities (screenshot from this Youtube movie):

A Dutch campaign that can be translated to “milk is deadly”. Photo: Youtube.com.

Featuring a glass of milk with blood coming out of it…well, that’s at least quite dramatic. But it works. If there’s one thing you don’t want after seeing this ad, it’s running to your local shop and buy 1 liter of milk. 🙂

Milk is deadly, guys.

#4: The (almost) illegal milk campaign

There’s quite a cool background story to this campaign, but let me show you the ad first:

Photo: Go Vegan World.

“Humane Milk is a myth – don’t buy it”. Wow!

Go Vegan World sent out this strong message to the public. Not everyone agreed that this should be allowed. According to the dairy industry, this shouldn’t be legal by US law. Several lawyers contacted the Advertising Standards Authority in an attempt to cancel the campaign.

Luckily, the campaign wasn’t stopped.

And the reason for that?

Well. ASA did agree that the campaign doesn’t say anything inaccurately.

#5: Tesco UK – supermarket ad

It’s impossible to write this list without mentioning Tesco. While most supermarket chains have been careful in picking a side in the “meat-eater versus vegan debate”, Tesco wasn’t.

And creds to them for taking a stand.

This short ad created a huge controversy in the UK, and you can see for yourself if you understand why:

Tesco ad debate

If you want to see a glimpse of the aftermath, I’m recommending this video:

PS! The comment section got so heated that “This Morning Show” had to turn off the comment section on Youtube. Way to go, guys.

#6: World Meat Free Day

Just a cow celebrating not being eaten. That’s it.

Photo: Pinterest.com.
Photo: Pinterest.com. Worldmeatfreeday.com.

As powerful as it’s easy.

#7: “Would you eat your dog?”

Another controversial ad from the UK. I think we’ve seen this before.

PETA hired some billboards across the largest cities in the UK. However, the transportation boss in London refused to have this banner placed on “his” buses:

Photo: PETA UK.

To me, all animals are equal. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but refusing to run a certain campaign because it features a dead animal…

Well, what are they going to say next time someone wants to have a beef or chicken commercial on their buses then?

#8: McDonald’s new P.L.T Burger

You’ve heard about BLT? Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato?

McDonald’s took that concept one step further. Introducing their new P.L.T burger: Plant. Lettuce. Tomato.

Photo: McDonalds.

McDonald’s is among the companies in the world with the very best marketing campaigns. They are fantastic.

If you want to read the “bad side” of fast-food chains, I do have a quite popular article called “8 reasons why fast food is an environmental issue“.

That should scare you from going to McDonald’s. But if you DO decide to go there: feel free to try their P.L.T. It looks delicious! 🙂

#9: Mercy For Animals Pro-Vegetarian TV ad

Are you having meat for dinner?

I’d skip this video then. This is a quite graphic video that illustrates how meat comes from…dead animals.

Even though it’s not exactly promoting vegan products, I would argue that it definitely begs people to join the “vegan lifestyle movement”.

That burger I was having for dinner today…I’ll freeze it down and have it next week.

#10: Earthling Ed – the worlds’ most famous vegan

This isn’t a marketing campaign in itself. However, I believe this guy is a living legend.

He is extremely good at debating non-vegan people. He is also very good at getting in the medias’ spotlight.

Due to the fact that you see him “everywhere”, he is like a mobile marketing campaign for everything that has to do with veganism. Instead of going into details about who he is and what he has done, I would love to show you a couple of Youtube clips that impressed me a lot:

#1: Student vs vegans

#2: Earthling Ed vs Info Wars reporter (cringe)

I know this might be a long one, but it’s worth watching until the end. Or you can save it for later when you have a bit more time on your hands.

PS! Info Wars is owned by the infamous guy Alex Jones. If you want to read what he thinks about climate change, I will seriously recommend reading this article.

FAQ: Vegan marketing campaigns

Q: What is, in your opinion, the most powerful way to succeed with a vegan campaign?

Focus on the benefits of living a vegan lifestyle. It’s healthy. And we don’t kill animals.

In addition to that, I can clearly see that the best-performing campaigns also have a bit of a “shocking” element to it. For some reason, it’s quite powerful to feature dead animals. Which is a bit sad…

Q: Why are large corporations afraid of making commercials for their vegan products?

Just look at what happened to Tesco. A quite normal campaign for some vegan food turned into a huge and aggressive debate.

Companies that profit from both product categories (meat/dairy & vegan) can’t take a proper stand. The consumers must take that choice for them. 🙂

Q: Why do you include companies that are famous for being non-eco-friendly?

I’m not taking any moral points in this article. All I wanted was to give the inspiration to cool vegan marketing campaigns.

Also, it’s superb that fast-food chains do their bit to promote their vegan options. McDonald’s’ had a salad on its menu for 20 years without letting the world know about it. Now that the vegan movement is growing, they actually do a lot to promote their plant-based burger.

I think we should celebrate that.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are loads of cool vegan marketing campaigns out there. More and more consumers become vegan. In fact, I read that 50 % of all the young people in Britain had, at some point in their life, attempted to go vegetarian. That’s a massive number!

We can also see that most of the efficient vegan marketing campaigns are quite graphic. These are the ones who get the most media attention.

The future of vegan marketing is bright. And I really hope this article helped you to find what you came for.

And please, if you do know some other marketing campaign that currently isn’t on the list: there’s a comment section below. I do read and answer all your comments.

4 thoughts on “10 Creative Marketing Campaigns for Vegan Products”

  1. Avatar

    There shouldn’t be any “non-vegan” products out there.

    That would be the best marketing campaign ever. To just remove all the products from the stores that are not vegan. Imagine how great that would be? 🙂

    1. Avatar

      Well, I think this is the exact type of comment that provokes a lot of non-vegans.

      Banning “other type of non-vegan food” isn’t the way to go. That’s not going to solve anything. Also, it’s not really an realistic option.

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