Friday, April 10, 2015

Meatless Monday Campaign Critique (Johnson_R_ IMCC2701 Final Blog)

Campaign: Meatless Monday 
The Monday Campaigns created a social marketing effort to address the need for Americans to make healthier lifestyle choicesThe campaign speaks to what a lot of Americans wish to avoid: a meat free diet. The campaign goes beyond special seasons such as Lent to advocate for behaviour change. Instead, the campaign is ongoing and tries to relay a positive attitude for the rest of the Human life. Social Marketing strives “to promote the adoptions of behaviours that improve health or well being of the target audience or of society at whole.” (Kotler & Lee, 2011, p.30) This is a clear identification of a campaign that is determined to change behaviour without a time limit, and to communicate a beneficial message worthy of recognition. 

Background Information: 
Americans are said to consume about 270 pounds of meat a year. The meatless Monday campaign was created to address this issue. It all started in 2003 and the social marketing effort was implemented by The Monday Campaigns Incorporated in association with The John Hopkins School of Health and the Centre for a Livable Future. The organizers wanted to raise awareness about the effects of consuming too much meat and to lower the incidence of preventable diseases such as obesityMonday was the day selected because studies show that persons who decide to quit unhealthy behaviour do so on a Monday, since Mondays represent a new start to the week and new possibilities. (see Appendix A for graph showing why people make changes on Mondays) 

  • Get persons to cut out meat once per week to improve health and the environment by introducing the public to a plant based diet. 
  • The Campaign seeks to reduce the consumption of dietary saturated fat by 15% and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease. 
  • Attract individuals, organizations and institutions such as schools and restaurants and encourage them to make changes to menus on Mondays. 
Target Audiences: 
  •  Downstream audience includes American individuals, particularly those who consume meat on a daily basis. Students at all levels are being targeted. Included are individuals at risk such as those diagnosed with heart disease, diabetes and lung disease, as research shows that too much meat consumption can aggravate these health conditions. 
  •  Midstream audience consists of vegetarians, food bloggers, health workers and celebrities. Bloggers are useful to provide healthy vegan and vegetarian recipes to their frequent readers. The media has also been targeted, especially online, print (health magazines) and news outlets. A-List celebrities such as Paul McCartney have joined the movement to spread the Meatless Monday message. 
  • Health workers were targeted to provide information about the benefits of engaging in a meatless diet.  
  • Upstream audience consists mostly of influential groups and organizations; these include learning institutions ranging from pre-school to universities, hospitals and government organizations. The San Francisco school region has been heavily participating in the campaign. 

Communication Strategy: 
Chris Elam, the program director at Meatless Monday states that their strategy was smart by relaying the right message and good timing. He awards the success of the campaign to building an online presence, gaining influencers such as Oprah Winfrey, allowing others to use their agenda( for example, People for the ethical treatment of Animals {PETA}) and having a simple, accessible, empowering message “once a week-cut out meat. (Meatless Monday reaches 50awareness, 2011)  The directors mostly utilized the marketing principles product and place to strengthen the campaign.  
Much attention was given to identifying the core product by placing emphasis on health and environmental benefits. Place identifies specifically the distribution channels, celebrities used to add impact and the various institutions and organizations that were targeted for Meatless Monday, such as Ohio State University and food distributor, Sodexo. Monday Campaigns Incorporated positioned themselves as the brand for healthy choices, so participants most attributed their meat free diets “Meatless Monday.” 

Campaign Activities and Materials: 
Events:  Places across America and the world stage their own events at different time periods. An example of such event is the 10th Anniversary symposium which was held at the John Hopkins School in October 2013.  
Tool Kits: Useful guides are available for persons and Institutions that are interested in participating; these include campus and general kits. There is no cost to gain access to the posters and tool kits, and they can be used anywhere and by any organizations who wish to get involved. (See Appendix B) 
Posters and Logos: Posters and logos are available for download from the Meatless Monday website for those who wish to be formally affiliated with the campaign. (see Appendix C) 
Other activities: Cooking classes, cooking demos and community activities. 

  • Major research is done every two years. The campaign mostly made use of descriptive research and at the collection stage; the commonly used methods included polls and surveys. 
  • Nationwide polls were conducted by the National Public Radio (NPR) in 2008 and American Meat Institute in 2010 to find out the frequency of meat consumption in adults and if the campaign influenced any lifestyle changes. Surveys were also done to gain responses from cafeteria customers regarding the change of the Monday Menu. A major survey was done by the FGI Research Firm in 2012 to test the effectiveness of the campaign. (Appendix D shows the findings of FGI’s research.)  
  • The campaign coordinators thought of all possible avenues to relay the message and to engage individuals. It was obvious that much research was done to provide participants with the benefits of being involved in the campaign. Data from the FGI research shows that in just 6 months, awareness went up from 30% to 50% The campaign is impacting the American Nation as half the country is now aware of Meatless Monday. 
  • The campaign has been consistent from the time of its existence to present day and the Media plays a significant role in spreading the message. Various influential bloggers and personalities were targeted to strengthen the campaign and highlight its purpose and focus which is to make meat eaters aware of the flexitarian diet Top chefs and celebrities became involved in the campaign without endorsement. Due to major influencers, the campaign is now recognized in 36 countries. 
  • The campaign was specific in audience segmentation. Groups are categorized based on diet (mostly meat eaters) age and occupation (e.g. Bloggers). Research Firm, FGI’s Survey Report (2012) shows that 62% percent of respondents have started a weekly Meatless Monday routine 

  • The posters and flyers lack diversity. There has not been much change since the start of the campaign, and the images lack luster and appeal. The colours are dull and somewhat plain. The campaign seeks to attract even three year olds, but the kit provided is not attractive enough and may need the work of teachers/parents to make it more appealing. 
  • Even though, many are enthusiastic to cut down meat consumptionlifestyle change remains a barrier to the campaign; individuals were upset about the change to the menus especially at colleges and work cafeterias. A sorority house at Stanford University is currently experiencing setbacks, as students voiced that they want only meat in their diets. If some are still not willing to make a commitment even for a day, these groups showcase a need to be more informed and involved in the campaign. 
  • It has been observed that much pretesting has not been done. Based on findings, the campaign provides benefits and simply asks persons what they think, but thorough pretesting was not conducted to gain valuable responses. Student critics state that the menus were just changed almost forced on them. 

  • The campaign utilized almost every type of medium to attract its various audiences. This is an aspect of the campaign that should be maintained. There is a strong online presence, especially with the rising popularity of blogging. Persons of various ages are attracted to blogs with its colourful and welcoming displays. 
  • The posters and logo could use a bit more attractiveness, especially for the younger audience. There is a consistent use of pigs and cows on almost all the posters, logos and kits. Use of different images, especially the foods, people happily eating and brighter colours to grab attention at first glance. 
  • The Campaign is global; a useful idea would be to ask representatives from different countries to make a video to show the world the impact of Meatless Monday in different culturesas it would be good to showcase a visual aspect instead of just statistics. 
  • Operators could add more meatless options on the day instead of an entire menu change. Many persons have not warmed up to the concept as yet, and feel as though the change has been forced on them. Promote a flexible diet and include the benefits of consuming less meat by making the diet exciting and maybe start with samples. 

About us: Meatless Monday (2015, March 30) Retrieved from 
Elam.,C (2011,May 31)  Meatless Monday reaches 50% awareness. Huffington Post. Retrieved from 
FGI Survey Report: Meatless Monday Online panel. (2012) Retrieved from 
Kotler.,p Lee.,N.(2011) Social Marketing: Influencing behaviours for good. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publication Inc. 
Meatless Monday movement gets more veggies on the menu (2013 October 22) Retrieved from 
Palmer.,S. (2013). Meatless Monday:  Today’s Dietitian, 15. Retrieved from 


Appendix A 

Appendix B 

Appendix C 

Appendix D