The prevailing belief and obsession among competitive bodybuilding is that animal protein — eating meat and lots of it — is the only way to achieve optimal physique, performance and strength. Effect Partners partnered with a leading national plant-based foundation to create measurable impact within the competitive bodybuilding and fitness enthusiast communities to debunk this widespread myth, educate them about the proven benefits of a plant-based protein diet for peak performance, and foster a strong community. Essentially, show that “plants have all the protein you need.”
Drawing from the insight that naturally competitive people gravitate to a “challenge” and desire to be among like-minded individuals, Effect knew that forming a “team” or “movement” would appeal to the bodybuilding and fitness enthusiast communities. To gain credibility, an expert team of successful plant-based athletes, coaches, authors, former combat soldiers and nutritionists was established to start the “Vegan Strong” movement – a movement that challenges animal vs. plant-based protein and supports members along their eating journey to optimal health and performance success.
Effect secured sponsors such as IsoPure, Orgain, Beyond Meat, Daiya, PB2 and Nada Moo for its Vegan Strong tour that visited 10 major fitness events across the U.S. The tour was supported by sponsorships, social media, marketing, cooking demonstrations, educational content, recipe development, couponing and sampling of plant-based products. For this community, seeing, eating and believing was critical to understanding how easy and successful going plant-based is to reach desired fitness and lifestyle results.
Effect grew the Vegan Strong community 1,600% to 16,000 members as a result of the one-year tour and campaign. The campaign reached a 400,000-hyper-targeted audience with more than 30,000 individual engagements at events. From those events, more than 3,300 emails were collected and inspired nearly 300 people to transform their diet to plant-based following their Vegan Strong introduction. For sponsors, more than 28,000 coupons for plant-based brands and 32,000 plant-based foods and beverages were sampled to attendees. Lastly, Vegan Strong stormed social channels and grew to 11,800 followers on Instagram within the year. The impact of the campaign effectively reframed vegans from extremists to positive people focused on health and strength, and highlighted plant-based protein as an equal, if not greater, source of protein for elite athletes, competitive bodybuilding and fitness enthusiasts.