Spitfire worked with Just Label It! (JLI) to research, develop and implement a campaign pressuring food companies to support federal mandatory labeling of genetically modified food or GMOs.
Just Label It is a project of Organic Voices Action Fund and Organic Voices, to educate and empower consumers by promoting the benefits of organic food and by advocating for mandatory GMO labeling. The project kicked off with Spitfire conducting brand research on several major food companies spending significant funds to block GMO labeling efforts. We used insights gleaned from this research to create Conceal or Reveal, a campaign initially targeting PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats and eventually expanding to General Mills, Kellogg’s and Coca-Cola. JLI communicated the campaign’s activities to all the companies privately, including Campbell Soup Company – which it chose not to target publicly – hoping to pressure it and the others to come out in support of labeling.
After assessing potential audience targets, we centered on moms who buy food for their families from these trusted food companies. Through polling we tested moms on their favorite brands and found that 93 percent of American mothers want companies to support mandatory labeling of GMO products. We also found 81 percent of mothers were less likely to purchase products from these brands if they found out that a brand was using GMO ingredients in their products that resulted in an increased use of pesticides. JLI released this polling to the media and additionally leveraged its relationships with celebrity moms to show support of GMO labeling. Spitfire worked with Gisele Bündchen to plan and launch the Conceal or Reveal campaign at an event in April 2015 with an audience of celebrity and food bloggers. Major outlets such as Politico, Reuters, E! Celebrity News, Us Weekly, E! covered the event.
The campaign reached over 28 million people through social media. In addition to mobilizing American consumers around GMO labeling, JLI won support from many of the food companies it targeted.
Spitfire used an online petition to drive the campaign, securing more than 250,000 signatures from a combination of partner outreach, paid acquisition ads and organic social media and email outreach. We also created and posted social media graphics featuring creative spoofs of PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats, Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s and General Mills and ran online ads targeting staff and visitors at the companies’ headquarters.
Our efforts – buoyed by a strong digital strategy – helped raise awareness of GMO labeling among American consumers. Using the hashtag #ConcealOrReveal, the campaign reached over 28 million people through social media. In addition to mobilizing American consumers around GMO labeling, JLI won support from many of the food companies it targeted. Campbell Soup Company released a statement in support of federal standards for GMO labeling in January 2016. Shortly after Campbell’s announcement, General Mills, Kellogg’s and Mars announced their decisions to label GMOs in their products.