A&W’s “Better Beef” Facebook Campaign

By: William Muldoon

The A&W franchise is one of the most popular food franchises in the United States. It is known for its fresh ingredients, backed by its “Ingredients Guarantee,” which it promises to its customers. However, in late 2013, A&W set out on a mission to change the conversation about the quality of its food. Since A&W is known for using such high-quality food products, it wanted to create a campaign about the way that its food is raised. This campaign included various television spots, online ads, video, and social media, and it provided the franchise with big results, with total sales increases of up to 10.5%.

However, a lot of that success was thanks to a series of Facebook ads that were used to offer consumers a heap of information about where A&W’s meat comes from, and also how its animals are raised. Every Facebook ad ran with a promise: “Raised without the use of antibiotics.” Once an individual has watched the Facebook ad, he/or she can then use the micro link within the video to learn more information about the restaurant’s menu ingredients.

These ads were a big success, bringing in thousands of messages associated with the three major meats they featured in their campaign: eggs, chicken, and beef. There was a 36% lift in message association between A&W and high-quality chicken, as well as a 38% lift in message association for high-quality eggs.

Using Facebook to get the attention of consumers can be extremely beneficial for a company. With the majority of Americans owning a Facebook account, it is much easier to reach a large amount of people than it would be if you were to simply just advertise on television. A&W’s campaign is a great example as to how to successfully increase a company’s sales by marketing almost entirely through social media.

The franchise was also able to use sponsored news feed posts to shift brand perception about the quality of its ingredients. Because of Facebook, the popular franchise was able to add a tremendous amount of message association, which would have been unlikely if they had stayed with standard television advertising alone, as well as create a considerable lift in sales of their beef, egg, and chicken menu items.

Reference: http://www.marketingmag.ca/media/how-aw-used-facebook-to-shift-its-food-quality-conversation-143438

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35 thoughts on “A&W’s “Better Beef” Facebook Campaign

  1. Kaitlyn Magnano April 22, 2015 / 3:10 pm

    I think that A&W Facebook campaign was a good example of how powerful social media really is. I know I personally do not watch that much TV and when I do it’s Netflix, which has no commercials. A lot of the things I do see are because they pop up on my social media accounts and that is how I find out about them. Almost everyone I know has a Facebook account and I think that more companies should put their money towards marketing through social media than television because it is clearly more effective.

    Like

  2. McGee Hines April 22, 2015 / 3:26 pm

    Using this feature of Facebook was a really good move from the company. It is proven that people will watch a video that appears on their newsfeed as they scroll, and having a click-through link to follow made A&W get a larger audience in more ways than one. Not only was the video a good idea, but with the growing culture of “healthy eating”, health conscious individuals, this topic is something people would be willing to take the time to read and be influenced by. In return, people will more likely trust A&W in their assurance of quality food, and be more apt to buy from the company.

    Like

  3. Joe Greco April 22, 2015 / 11:13 pm

    The use of Facebook was a very good idea by this company to attract more customers. Facebook has millions and millions of users and everyday people are obsessively logging on constantly checking their page. Companies such as A&W have been able to market their product through social media sites such as Facebook and I believe it is a good idea as more and more people have become accustom to pop ups and adds and are now willing to read them and find out more, this was a very smart marketing move by A&W and my bet is they will continue to have success marketing this way.

    Like

  4. Yafen Liu April 22, 2015 / 11:55 pm

    Interesting topic. Actually, this is another example of successful utilization of social media. Nike, Amazon and Wal-Mart have already utilized the Facebook as one of its marketing strategy and it turned out to be a huge success. Since the booming of Internet, almost everyone has a Facebook account. Thus, investment on social is absolutely a good choice. Through Facebook ads, A&W not only attracts more customers’ attention, but also shows more details about their products and services, which means more profits because they already known for their high-quality products.

    Like

    • Andrew Dresner April 30, 2015 / 5:50 pm

      I agree with Yafen. Companies that are ready and willing to delve into social media to promote their products gives them a leg up. We’re getting to a point in time that those people and companies who are reluctant to use social media will end up falling behind the eight ball.

      Like

  5. Braxton Bilous April 23, 2015 / 1:47 am

    The focus of A&W being health focused is a great marketing strategy and using a platform that is so huge with millions of users is a great way to get there message across. This will help bring in customers that have the wrong conception about the food A&W produces. Also I feel this will continue to be a common tend for many companies that are trying to reach a vast amount of customers.

    Like

  6. Mattia Lanzi April 23, 2015 / 1:59 am

    In my opinion, A&W made a really good decision to use Facebook, that is the most popular social network, as a marketing strategy. I think that with both strategies, the promotion on Facebook and explaining to people its healthy and quality food, A&W will get a larger number of consumers. Also the video was a great idea.

    Like

  7. Michael Scuderi April 23, 2015 / 2:22 am

    A&W made a very smart move by using social media to there advantage. This just go’s to show how Facebook alone has changed how people thing because most of the population gets a part of there news from Facebook now a days. A&W saw just how powerful Facebook’s network’s is. All it takes is a few post’s and next thing you know people hear about you and start to spread the word like wild fire. I believe this was a huge success for A&W and they should continue to utilize social media and attract more customers.

    Like

  8. Sam Ventresca April 23, 2015 / 2:45 pm

    The use of Facebook ads proved to be a great idea for A&W. Not only are Facebook ads cheaper than radio and television ads, but they also reach a large audience. With these ads people are able to click on them and read more about A&W. A&W should continue to use social media for advertisement if they want to continue being successful.

    Like

  9. Kyley Murphy April 23, 2015 / 2:52 pm

    I think using Facebook to promote their project was a really smart marketing move. I know personally when I watch TV it is usually shows I have recorded, so I skip right over the commercials. The majority of people who use a computer have Facebook, so this is a great way to reach out; more so, people love to voice their opinions on Facebook, so they could “share” these posts and get A&W’s message of raising animals in a more humane way to more people. Also, I know if I see someone on TV and it tells me to go to a website, I probably won’t go; but if there is already a link in front of me and the topic is interesting, there is a greater possibility that I will just click the link since it is available to me.

    Like

  10. Brendan Sullivan April 23, 2015 / 6:15 pm

    More companies are using Facebook ad twitter for advertising. I think it is great because of how many people you can reach. It is far less expensive than advertising on television. When advertising on TV you may not reach out to that many people unless it is a popular show or sporting even. I know a lot of companies advertise on Super Bowl Sunday, but the price to do that is ridiculous. If I had a national company like A&W for example I would immediately incorporate a facebook page and have ads run on the FB.

    Like

  11. Kendra Van Pelt April 24, 2015 / 4:52 am

    I think A&W made a smart call with their online campaign, especially by adding in a more interactive aspect with the customer. By posting videos on Facebook, they are reaching out to consumer’s on their own space – making those consumers even more likely to click for more information. A&W is also joining the recently revised trend of really striving to respect the consumers’ wishes – ethically raised cows, pigs and chickens. Consumers don’t want to feel guilty about the products they consume and there has been a recent push of the promotion of free range products. So by reaching out to consumers via networks they use and also appealing to their moral sense of justice, it is no surprise A&W has increased it’s sales.

    Like

  12. Skye Stewart April 24, 2015 / 3:36 pm

    I very much agree with your statement about how using Facebook to get the attention of consumers can be extremely beneficial for a company. A&W’s example in your post makes this statement true. Facebook and social media is great for making connections, no matter the topic, and I think it’s interesting to see different companies using social media to its full advantage. Today, companies definitely have to be creative with how they target audiences and this was a successful way of doing so. Facebook is a great way for people to learn (as much as it is addicting). Social media campaigns know how to attract people because everyone is always willing to take a part in it, for example, so many people did the Ice Bucket Challenge. This story just goes to show how social media can really influence audiences and how companies can get potential customers to pay attention to their products.

    Like

  13. Yuxuan Wang April 24, 2015 / 7:05 pm

    A&W success proved that social media’s importance in nowadays competition. Obversely, most famous company use the same way to advertise their products, such as Nike. And use social media do not have geographical limitation, whatever in U.S., China or other countries, social media is a effective tool.

    Like

  14. Brandon Gobbi April 26, 2015 / 2:46 am

    With social media so big today, it is so easy for companies (A&W) to advertise over social media, like Facebook. This is also a great way for companies to advertise because so many people are using social media today. A&W can reach so many of its target market with just one advertisement on Facebook.

    Like

  15. william matthews April 27, 2015 / 1:57 pm

    A&W made the right decision using social media sites, such as Facebook, which has such a large platform of users, to attract customers. They realized that instead of investing a large amount of money for a television campaign were only a fraction of Facebook users could see it, they’re going to invest a small amount of money for a Social Media campaign. No matter what the product is, I feel that using social media sites such as Facebook, they are going to reach a much larger audience because so many people have technology to use these sites. It was a great Marketing Strategy to try and attract customers by showing the healthy aspects of their food and how it differentiates from other products. In Conclusion, A&W performed this Marketing Campaign very effectively using Social Media and I believe a lot of other companies should take after that.

    Like

  16. John Vallerand April 27, 2015 / 3:19 pm

    A&W is more of a southern brand in my opinion. I don’t think I’ve seen many of them up this way nor have I ever eaten at one before. I will add that I am personally a fan of their root beer and would be willing to try out their food options. The Facebook campaign they ran seems like it was very successful. I personally like to know where the food I eat comes from rather then have everything be a mystery since it’s my health on the line. After watching the add it made me feel conferrable with the brand even to the point where I would like to go out and try it for the first time.

    Like

  17. Jimmy Clark April 27, 2015 / 4:10 pm

    With social media being one of the biggest platforms for advertising today, you almost need to use facebook to advertise if you’re a big company. The one thing that they did right other then using the right type of media was that they used the right type of advertising. The campaign to show that their food was all natural was smart, and I think it will bring in new customers.

    Like

  18. Lindsey Fratus April 27, 2015 / 6:38 pm

    A&W’s Facebook campaign is an example of how a company can bring in more customers simply by knowing how to properly use social media. Their campaign got people talking. It made people respect the company for using good ingredients and made people want to go there and try it. Similar to Chipotle, they focus on their healthy raised meats and ingredients, which has benefited both of these companies. People like good food, but they like it even more if they know it is healthy for them.

    Like

  19. Keelyn Crowe April 27, 2015 / 7:13 pm

    A&W’s idea of using social media was a great idea, it got their brand out their and educated people on what they used and what they were all about! I think the idea of letting people know how their meat is raised is a really good idea because thats often a question a lot of people have including myself. Letting people know that they don’t use antibiotics and that they cause easily look at the ingredients by clicking on the Facebook link is a really good idea! It puts a trust in the consumers and makes them want to go back and eat their products without speculation.

    Like

  20. beaudoinr April 27, 2015 / 8:52 pm

    A&W’s campaign has proved to be successful. They reached a broader audience while using the Facebook adds. They made a new name for their company, one that can relate to the community. Focusing on the freshness of their meat brought an even better aspect into the campaign. It proved that they are trying to help solve the American obesity problem. They are trying to look out for their customers, (or so they say).

    Like

  21. Ryan Etter April 27, 2015 / 8:55 pm

    I think that A&W’s marketing campaign of marketing through social media really shows how powerful social media can be and how many eyes will eb able to see what your advertising. In this generation anything is online and i think that most companies understand that encompassing social media marketing efforts will most limey increase recognition of their brand and A&W had successfully done that in this article.

    Like

  22. Meghan Saldutti April 27, 2015 / 9:20 pm

    A&W marketing through Facebook was a very good idea. In today’s world, social media is very beneficial to big companies as well as small ones. It is a easy and free way to reach millions of people in a small amount of time. The A&W campaign on Facebook just goes to show that when marketing is done online it tends to be successful especially if companies make it interesting and entertaining just like A&W did by posting videos that drawer attention of their customers.

    Like

  23. Mackenzie Kilmartin April 27, 2015 / 11:02 pm

    A&W is an extremely popular brand and making the decision to promote itself through a huge social media user like Facebook was an excellent choice. Facebook has all kinds of users and consumers, which broadens the target market for A&W. The company’s promotion and advertising was both interesting, informational, and overall very successful in reaching out to consumers and getting their name more well recognized.

    Like

  24. Andrew Arcidi April 28, 2015 / 12:11 am

    The idea to show the public where the food comes from, and how it was raised was a great idea to really get the point out that their food is fresh and raised without antibiotics.Using Facebook was intelligent because of the number of people that saw the ad and especially saw their “promise” at the end. I think when people are promised that the food they are eating is fresh and not treated with chemicals it gives them a reassuring and different view of A&W.

    Like

  25. Patrick Breslin April 28, 2015 / 12:51 am

    I completely agree with A&W’s tactics of advertising through social media. If you think about it a television spot is not as useful since not everyone is able to watch a TV or choose to watch TV throughout the day, although in this day in age almost everyone has access to social media through a smart phone at all times and are constantly checking it. As you can see, with there success of a raise of over 10% in sales, social media advertisement is extremely relevant in todays society.

    Like

  26. Patrick Lynch April 28, 2015 / 4:59 am

    It’s a very great ad campaign, because today all I hear in social media is how these fast food companies are mistreating animals and that the meat is very bad for you. This campaign was a very smart decision to show people that they are greater than most food chains. This also was a smart decision to have their ad campaign on Facebook, because it’s cheap and you can get many viewers. I like the idea that people can learn more about the video so they can feel more self-assuring that this ad was legit and that these customers have more knowledge on what their eating.

    Like

  27. Amanda McKenzie April 28, 2015 / 2:04 pm

    Using Facebook for marketing is such a good idea because it can get out to more people than using radio, billboards, or television ads. I also think this campaign was smart of A&W because it shows how their food is actually healthy and better quality. I think their ad was informative and interesting.

    Like

  28. Paige Gilbert April 28, 2015 / 3:37 pm

    This is a smart marketing strategy because having a Facebook page will help A&W reach a larger market. Advertising through Facebook will be a cheaper and more efficient way to reach their consumers. Sense fast food companies have bad reputations for their quality of food and the inhumane ways of treating animals this is a good idea because more people will learn more about the company and see for themselves through the videos.

    Like

  29. Kevin McAtamney April 28, 2015 / 5:52 pm

    The main reason Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook was for the purpose of “Open Information”. He wanted to create a channel that allowed people to share every inch of their daily lives. A&W has picked the most effective social media site to achieve its goal of sharing information about the product they serve. Personally, I never went to A&W nor had I heard of it before I hit high school. If I had the abiity to see one of this company’s advertisements, I believe that I could have been swayed to eat there. In today’s society where all information can be shared, viewed, commented on and “liked”, A&W brings to light the processes they have been performing since the beginning of the company. This is a great way to attract a younger target demographic especially since the millenial generation has projected to be so helath conscious.

    Like

  30. Ariel Lobo April 29, 2015 / 1:29 am

    This just shows how powerful social media can be. Today people check their facebook’s a lot and the chance of seeing an ad that interests them is high. So where better to promote an ad where people go all the time. Company’s today probably spend most of their advertising money on social media ads than on billboards nowadays. I could see the pricing of social media advertising increasing in the future and perhaps prove a little difficult for the smaller guys but in today’s market I feel as if this is the best way to advertise.

    Like

  31. Domenica Fuller April 29, 2015 / 2:30 pm

    I also think that social media is a great tool for companies to use to reach more consumers. Our society is becoming more and more technology driven by the day, so for companies to find ways to take advantage of this by becoming more involved on social media is extremely beneficial to companies if they want to have a successful future. A&W using Facebook is also important because our society is becoming more interesting in eating healthy, what we are putting into our bodies and where our food comes from. A&W and Facebook is a great merger of recent trends the marketplace has been seeing.

    Like

  32. Charlie O'Connor May 5, 2015 / 4:30 am

    With social media being at the forefront of virtually everyone’s life including their cell phones, tablets and computers, I agree that A&W hit a homerun by implementing their marketing strategy on Facebook. Facebook dominates the social media outlets so I don’t know where to better advertise than on the social media giant’s website. The numbers presented in this article are astounding and makes me wonder why every single company doesn’t occupy some sort of space on FB. I’m not surprised they have seen benefits to this strategy

    Like

  33. Lindsey Mattos May 6, 2015 / 8:46 pm

    Large companies should always try to utilize social media. Especially when their “message” is regarding health and being transparent with the way they raise their products. People are becoming more and more interested in this topic and it was a very intelligent way for them to drum up business.

    Like

  34. Kyle Jacobs May 7, 2015 / 4:35 pm

    A&W is the epitome company when it comes to Facebook advertising. First of all its free advertising, just takes some time to get it all set up, but anyone has access to it and with billions of people on Facebook their customer reach is through the roof. I also like the idea of being confident in their product and allowing customers to virtually see the ingredients in their food. With such a drastic focused on healthy food trends, A&W is keeping pace with the fast moving economic trends. One of the other features that the Facebook platform offers is two way interactive advertising. Many other marketing campaigns are strictly one way, towards the consumer, but Facebook allows for feedback and a lane of communication back and forth.

    Like

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