How would you react if you received an invite to eat endangered species as a way to save them? Celebrity chef Hugh Acheson invited foodies at Empire State South in Atlanta to join him at a one-day only tasting menu that would feature species that are in danger of going extinct. In fact, he even created posters that promoted the event, encouraging everyone to eat endangered species in order to save them! The idea led to numerous furious complaints and to even more tweets that even informed PETA about this “appalling”, “stupid”, and “astoundingly stupid” campaign.
However, curiosity led several people to the Empire State South, wondering how to react on the lunch they would be served. As they started eating, still trying to find the kind of endangered animal they were tasting, Hugh Acheson appeared, informing them that the only endangered species they tasted was the Cherokee Purple heirloom tomato. While everyone was surprised by the answer, Acheson explained the idea of making people think about fruits and vegetables in the same way and the same level of care as they do with animals. That’s how they decided to create the campaign “Save the Flavors”, hoping to raise awareness about the levels of extinction for several fruits and vegetables, and the importance of saving them along with their flavors.
Seeds of Change is the leading producer of sustainably grown seeds and organic foods and decided to grab the attention of the audience in a marketing stunt that definitely did not stay unnoticed. The twist of inviting people to eat endangered species, when they actually referred to fruits and vegetables and not animals, was clever enough to increase the interest in growing vegetables that are becoming extinct, preserving all the rare flavors they offer.
Seeds of Change along with its agency partner, BBDO San Francisco created a complete campaign that started with the #EndangeredEats tasting menu (and all the controversy it caused), using the buzz to actually raise awareness about @SeedsOfChange and Hugh’s effort to actually #SaveTheFlavors. The campaign was afterwards spread even more with the help of social media, being successful and effective, introducing all the endangered vegetables and fruits to consumers that were more than happy to learn more and save them.
Sometimes an event twist makes a really great difference towards the audience’s stance!
Advertising Agency: BBDO, San Francisco, USA
Executive Creative Directors: Craig Mangan, Matt Miller, Steve Rutter
Creative Director: Amber Justis
Copywriter: Nate Totten
Art Director: Alyssa Collis
Designer: Nina Golik
Senior Account Director: Elana Shea
Account Executive: Nick Roth, Liz Thornton
Group Strategy Director: Mary FlorCruz
Strategist: Sanjay Hukku
Executive Producer: Louise Doherty
Senior Interactive Producer: Christopher Plaskett
Integrated Producer: Laura Johnson
Business Affairs: Jacqueline Djanikian
Agency Editor/Cinematographer: Eric Herron
Production Company: B-Reel Films
Director: Kief Davidson
Executive Producer: Fran McGivern
Producer: Lawrence Lewis
DP: Nicole Whitaker
Editorial: Cut + Run
Editor: Stephen Berger
Production Company (Event): BeCore
Production Company (Illustration & Animation): We are Royale
Executive Creative Director / Partner: Brien Holman
Creative Director: Andy Lyon
Art Director: Heather-Lynn Aquino
Associate Producer: Jack Arnold