I helped make poutine Canada's national dish
The US didn't know much about Poutine or how to market it in Canada. So they left it completely up to us.
In 2012, Wendy’s added Poutine to its Canadian menu. They were the last major QSR to start selling Poutine and the market was extremely crowded and noisy. Our biggest challenge was to create national awareness on a very limited budget for a brand that had virtually no social-media presence.
Canada has a national sport, and a national animal, but no national dish. So we started a movement to have Poutine named Canada's National Dish. What better way than to have people sign a POUTITION. And everything we did celebrated our Canadian identity and quirky sense of humour.
The Poutition lived on the Wendy’s Canada Facebook Page where all people had to do was “like” it to sign it. We created a Youtube manifesto video and a national radio spot. We wrote the history of Poutine and developed a line of Poutition merchandise (t-shirts, buttons, and lawn signs). To drive store traffic and encourage sampling we gave out Poutine coupons to everyone who participated. In addition, in-store POS signage featured QR codes that connected users to a mobile version of The Poutition and allowed them to sign it on their smartphone. We even sold a line of Poutition clothing and merchandise.
The campaign eclipsed all objectives, and helped redefine the role of social media for Wendy’s Canada. Wendy’s Canada Facebook Page increased by 279% (from 15,917 “Likes” pre-launch to 60,247)
Share of voice in social conversations related to Poutine jumped to 63%, surpassing our goal of 20%
The campaign generated over 17,000,000 media impressions, receiving coverage across Canada and the US
The campaign catapulted Wendy’s Facebook presence and helped turn it into a relevant social brand in Canada.
BUT, the best success of all was how much Poutine we helped sell. Just a few days into the campaign we were told that restaurants actually ran out of poutine.
Aaron Wolfson | Isabelle Santiago | Marc Melanson | Auggie Senis | Duncan Porter | Dave Stubbs