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Arby's Flaunts New Brown Sugar Bacon with Launch of Vegetarian Support Campaign

EDELMAN, Atlanta / ARBY'S / 2016

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To energize our meat-loving consumers, we aimed a humorous, sensationalized message at vegetarians with a fully integrated “Vegetarian Support” campaign.

Key components:

• Vegetarian Support Hotline (1-855-MEAT-HLP) offering pre-recorded messages of support for vegetarians who were tempted by or had already caved to the lure of Arby’s new Brown Sugar Bacon. Callers who had tried the bacon could leave confessions of their guilt.

• Open Letter penned from Arby’s to vegetarians across America explaining how Arby’s would help vegetarians avoid this new product. This letter became our press release announcing the campaign.

• Sizzling PSA (YouTube Video) driving “tempted” vegetarians to call the hotline

• Vegetarian Support Webpage,, housed the above resources for vegetarians in dire need of help.

• Crisis Plan to help “protect” the brand from any negative stories or boisterous vegetarians.


With creative assets in hand, we secured an exclusive news story with to launch the campaign. The “Arby’s Launches Bacon Hotline for ‘Tempted’ Vegetarians” article posted in’s “Newsfeed” section featuring the hotline number – 1-855-MEAT-HLP, an embedded link to our PSA-like YouTube video and a link to our microsite.

After researching various media outlets for the exclusive, we approached’s Olivia Waxman because of the opportunity to place a story with a highly visible, social and shareable media outlet. This approach ensured reverberation among other highly visible media outlets creating a domino effect of third-party media syndication.

We knew from past experience placing media stories on behalf of Arby’s, that if we secured this story with, the resulting media firestorm would be extraordinary – and that no additional paid media support (outside of social) would be needed.


With long-term brand affinity in mind, our results achieved the objectives for the Vegetarian Support program across sales, consumer engagement and media coverage.


• Increased sales comps 13.4% over the same 2014 time period - the highest sales increase for 2015 limited-time offers

• 9.6% system same-stores sales growth in Q3 2015 – highest quarterly sales growth percentage in 2015

• Arby’s outperformed the QSR industry sales by an estimated 7.4% in Q3 2015

Consumer Engagement (7/7/15 – 7/14/16):

• 16,410 total hotline calls; 16,351 confession voicemails

o 99.64% of callers left a voicemail

• 341,333 PSA video views

• 23,315 unique webpage views

• “Open Letter” broke PR Newswire records for views

Generate Media Coverage (7/7/15 – 7/14/16):

24 million earned media impressions generated by 78 media placements, including coverage from Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, Huffington Post, Yahoo! News, NBC News, CBS News, Mashable and more.

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