Thread has been collaborating with Tofurky since 2015, when we launched a new brand strategy positioning them as “the friendliest food on the plate.” That strategy led to numerous creative projects, including two campaigns that reflect Tofurky’s values of activism, inclusivity and the fact that eating should be fun.
It’s rare for a brand to take a firm political stance, and even rarer to get their products involved. But that’s what Tofurky intended to do in order to draw attention to the challenge of climate change. Their idea was to treat their packaging copy as a portable billboard, zeroing in on the hamburger because it’s the quintessential American meat product.
The copy needed to plant a flag without sounding preachy, and inspire action without oversimplifying the difficulty of the matter at hand. It needed to be direct while not wandering too far from Tofurky’s established brand voice, which is friendly, inclusive and welcoming to all.
The result was a climate-focused manifesto and headlines that appeared on the front of Tofurky hamburger packaging. Messaging included calls to action to resources for stepping up as a citizen activist and referrals to climate action organizations.
This work earned Tofurky some media attention and a NOSH award for best marketing campaign of 2021.
Here’s a campaign that’s the diametric opposite of the urgency and seriousness of climate action: an April Fools’ Day prank on Instagram.
To celebrate the holiday in the past, Tofurky debuted spoof products like Tofurky-flavored seltzer. This time they wanted something different, so we thought: Instead of showing folks a funny fake product they can’t really have, what if we show them a funny real product they can?
We landed on a giveaway of limited-edition bumper stickers with cheeky slogans, available only on April 1. This activation gave them the opportunity to have a bit of fun with their brand and, more important, deepen their engagement with customers. They ran out of stickers in just a few hours and received nearly 900 requests by the end of the day. Each recipient got a piece of personal mail from Tofurky — a gift that reminds them of the brand that they could share with friends and strangers on social and IRL.
“We hit our goal of 500 submissions by around 9am PST that morning, and ended up with almost 900 total. We didn’t boost the post at all, so that was all purely through organic engagement. So fun to see the humor resonate with our audience!”