Maple Leaf Foods quietly promotes sustainability during Super Bowl

Who: Maple Leaf Foods and Sid Lee.

What: “Not Just Little Things,” a new campaign touting the company’s ongoing efforts around sustainability, and encouraging Canadian households to reduce their carbon footprint.

When & Where: The ad debuted during the Super Bowl. In a TV event known for its loud, splashy commercials, Maple Leaf and Sid Lee deliberately opted for a quiet approach. The spot will also run online—including YouTube, Facebook and Instagram—through April 3.

Why: The new ad touts Maple Leaf’s continued efforts around sustainability, which last year saw it become the first major food company in the world to achieve carbon neutral status.

“We recognize that creating protein products takes resources that need to be replenished—and that’s exactly what we’ve done,” says the company website. “We’ve reduced our impact as much as possible. In areas where we can’t reduce any more, we’ve invested in local environmental projects that bring our net footprint to zero.”

How: The creative concept is simple: A series of shots of a household that has taken steps to reduce its carbon footprint— from lowering the thermostat, to placing food scraps in a compost bin, to re-using plastic bags. “These may seem like little things, but they’re big steps towards fighting climate change,” says the voiceover. “And we need more of them.”

“While the Super Bowl may be a chance for brands to go big, explosive, and shiny, we did the opposite in our new spot with Maple Leaf Foods, and for good reason,” said Matt Fraracci, creative director of Sid Lee Toronto.

“The announcement was an opportunity to shine a light on and celebrate Canadian families that are putting in the work every day to combat climate change, starting with those quiet, seemingly little things we do at home, because it’s those little things that allow us to take bigger steps.”

Name that tune: It’s called “Work,” written and performed by Toronto-born R&B, soul singer Charlotte Day Wilson (you can find it here).

And we quote: “We hope our actions will inspire Canadians, along with other companies big and small, to join us as we work towards a more sustainable tomorrow,” said the company on its website.

Chris Powell