Back to Work




While more and more businesses today are doing their part to reduce their local carbon footprint, very few are being innovative by taking what they do best and adapting it to what consumers are asking for. A&W did just this, becoming the first Quick Service Restaurant in Canada to launch a plant-based burger – The Beyond Meat Burger. After one of the most successful product launches ever, Beyond Meat is a household name, a stock market superstar and a permanent menu item for A&W. So, how’d we do It?

Our communications would have to get the attention of guests that were decreasing their visits to fast food restaurants, introduce them to a brand they’d never heard of, and change their entrenched attitudes towards a product category.


A&W were confident that there was a big opportunity for a plant-based burger that tastes just like real beef. In a Canadian first, the Beyond Meat Burger was launched, appealing not only to millennial meat reducers, but also to Whole Foodies and Planeteers.

But there was a challenge: how do we get them to try the Beyond Meat Burger given the barriers that stood in our way?

Careful consideration of these barriers and understanding of our audiences shaped the strategy: target and win over the endorsement of early adopters to accelerate mainstream adoption.


The campaign started with a pre-launch event with a guest list including plant-based food bloggers and celebrity chefs.

We monitored interactions and built lookalike audiences from those most engaged, serving them ads that focused on taste and ingredients. In Google Ads we focused on core product terms, collecting data from the search activity of early adopters. Those searching in the first wave of the launch received a ‘coming soon’ countdown message. We collected these audiences to later deploy via YouTube targeting.

With the product now available in-restaurant, we turned on mass media. Video content – run across TV, YouTube and paid social - demonstrated the shocked reaction people had when they first tried the burger.