MSC Partner Marketing Case Studies

The MSC sets the Standard for sustainable fishing but it’s our partners who bring the MSC blue fish label to life. From digital-only campaigns to multi-store point-of-sale advertising campaigns, our partners help consumers shop their values and directly support positive change on the water through choosing your MSC certified sustainable products.

Here, we’ve gathered campaign highlights throughout the years that showcase the amazing work our partners do to raise awareness of the MSC blue fish label and help advance our shared mission of ending overfishing.

Little Labels, Big Impact 2021

Joint Campaign with Fairtrade America & Non-GMO Project

In October 2021, the MSC US team worked collaboratively on a campaign with Fairtrade America and Non-GMO Project on “Good Food Month.” October is National Seafood Month, Fairtrade Month, and Non-GMO Month in the US, so we joined together to celebrate ‘little labels that make a big impact’, engaging retailers, and educating consumers on the value of certifications

Campaign elements included:

  • A joint toolkit for retailers
  • 30,000 reusable shopping bags featuring all three labels and joint messaging distributed throughout the country by Non-GMO project 
  • Promotion of campaign assets on retailers’ digital channels (email, social, paid media, etc)
     and by all three lead organizations
  • Joint PR and thought leadership efforts (joint webinars and mat release, potential reach 252.9m+), and features in trade publications (Supermarket Perimeter, Independent Natural Food Retailers Association, etc.)

Would you like to get involved in Good Food Month 2022? Reach out to USmarketing@msc.org.


Celebrating Good Food Month with Fairtrade America and Non GMO Project

Dining Together for a Big Blue Future 2021

Media & influencer event with Chef Gregory Gourdet

In October 2021 in San Francisco, the MSC hosted the first of two dinners focused on showcasing how our seafood choices directly impact the health of our ocean. The dinner offered a direct line from ocean to plate for media and influencer attendees.

Chef Gregory Gourdet, “Top Chef” All Star and MSC US Ambassador, prepared a three course, sustainable seafood dinner using MSC certified oysters (Prestige Oysters), squid (Town Dock), and rockfish (LegaSea Fish Co.) – with representatives from each fishery present at the event. Media and influencers heard stories and watched videos about experiences on the water from each fishery, directly bringing our relationship with the ocean and those who work on it to the forefront.

The evening sparked conversation about the future of sustainable seafood, and how consumers can make a big impact by looking for the MSC blue fish label on the seafood they purchase. To further help media and influencers share this important message with their audiences, key messaging and background was shared via a scannable QR code and information on each table, as well as through customized outreach following the event.

Interested in collaborating on a dinner? Send us an email!

Dining Together for a Big Blue Future with Chef Gregory Gourdet

Seafood Month 2021

Amazon Adverting Partnership

We worked with Amazon advertising’s nonprofit business account manager to design an awareness campaign through in-stream 15- and 30-second video ads airing on their online video platform, OLV, and streaming TV, OTT (e.g. Fire TV, IMDb TV, etc.). Through this partnership, we were able to attribute sales of MSC labeled product on Amazon.com, and target the conscious consumer based on their interests and behaviors on Amazon properties.

Key results and learnings:

  • This campaign resulted in 1.5 million impressions and had a 98.66% average video completion rate.
  • During this campaign, about 25% of MSC certified product sales were from customers that were new to the brand.
  • The environmentally conscious consumer and those who frequently purchase climate pledge friendly packaged goods are the most likely to interact with an MSC ad and/or make a purchase as a result of viewing the ad.
  • Streaming TV drove the most purchases, despite being non-clickable.
  • 30-second creative outperformed 15-second versions on online video.

Interested in collaborating on TV or other digital ads to promote your commitment to a healthy ocean? We’d love to hear from you.

Amazon Fresh promotion with the MSC

Helping Americans Shop Their Values 2021

Walmart’s evergreen in-store education efforts 

Walmart is making it easier for their customers to shop their values with in-store signage indicating what ecolabels they can find throughout the store, and with additional search features for consumers shopping online. On their website, Walmart featured sustainable seafood through banner ads and with the inclusion of a "sustainable seafood" sorting option in their product finder.

"Stores running this campaign and investing in sustainable seafood space and assortment changes have seen around a 25% improvement in fresh seafood sales compared to the rest of Walmart U.S.’s chain of stores."

Do you want to make it easier for your customers to shop their values? Reach out to us to talk about in-store signage or search functions for your website!


Walmart sustainable seafood

Little Blue Label, Big Blue Future 2020

Global MSC consumer engagement campaign

On World Ocean Day 2020, the MSC launched a global campaign to celebrate collective everyday actions, like choosing MSC labeled products, that contribute to a Big Blue Future for our one shared ocean. 

The choices we make have a ripple effect. The tuna we choose can help encourage ocean-friendly fishing. The shellfish we share with friends can help safeguard a species. The fish fingers we cook for our kids can help protect an entire ecosystem. 

Our campaign highlighted those small steps at the grocery store or when shopping online, that can make a big positive impact on the water, uniting sustainable seafood and ocean advocates around the world.

Globally

  • 20+ million people viewed the campaign hero video on traditional TB
  • 42 million people reached online with 4m+ completed video views worldwide
  • 82 ambassadors and influencers around the world campaign for a big blue future
  • 192 commercial and 42 non-commercial partners supported the campaign and amplified through their channels

US & Canada

  • 5.8 million combined reach through social media and digital advertising in the US and Canada (10.1m+ impressions)
  • 351 million Americans and Canadians reached through our PR efforts
  • 28 partners, including brands, retailers, and fisheries, supported this campaign, advocating for a big blue future
  • 28 American and 15 Canadian ambassadors and influencers help spread the Big Blue Future message resulting in 1.7m+ impressions

Big Blue Future social media posts


Good For You and the Ocean Too 2019

360-degree, national consumer awareness campaign

In October 2019, MSC US and Canada launched its first North American consumer awareness campaign reminding consumers that the MSC blue fish label offers a win-win solution for seafood purchases that are “Good for you and the ocean too.” Launched to coincide with Seafood Month, the goal was to leverage the broader conversation on seafood and enhance it to emphasize the importance of making sustainable choices. 

Designed to help scale the impact consumer purchase decisions can have on the health of oceans, with this campaign seafood suppliers rode the growing wave of sustainable living to fuel better seafood choices every day.

The multi-channel media mix includes outdoor advertising in targeted U.S. and Canadian cities identified for consumer openness and appetite for sustainable messaging and choices: Seattle, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Toronto and Vancouver. The campaign was complemented by a strong social media, display, and search marketing effort – targeting North Americans based on their values and interests and when they are actively searching for information on healthy and sustainable seafood.

Key results

  • 132.4m impressions from out-of-home advertising
  • 8.7m reach on social media advertising (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Quora)
  • 14.0m+ impressions from digital display advertising
  • 1.4m reach through content creator partnerships
  • 73m reach & 487 articles through PR efforts
  • 22 commercial partners engaged (retailers, national brands, restaurants)

We saw significant jumps in awareness after this campaign. In Seattle, recognition of the MSC blue fish label jumped from 28% in 2018 to 36% in 2019. In Toronto, recognition jumped from 28% in 2017 to 33% in 2019 after the campaign.

Have any new tactics you want to try this Seafood Month? We’d love to hear about it

Images from Seafood Month 2019

20th Anniversary of Partnership Between the MSC and Whole Foods Market (2019)

Whole Foods Market & MSC celebrate

MSC celebrated 20 years of partnership with Whole Foods Market on sustainable seafood in June of 2019 for National Ocean Month. In 1999, Whole Foods Market became the first US retailer to partner with the MSC to make certified sustainable seafood available to customers around the US. MSC’s longest standing retail partner created sustainable seafood as a concept for consumers by sourcing MSC certified seafood and selling products with the MSC blue fish logo.  

To celebrate the partnership, a national, multichannel joint campaign was launched.  Key elements of the promotion included:

  • Campaign poster hung in all locations across the US, 479+ stores
  • Seafood counter staff all wore co-branded hats to celebrate the occasion 
  • Direct mailer with MSC & Whole Foods Market narrative sent to consumers across the country
  • National PR and joint social media efforts

We love celebrating milestones! If you have a sustainability anniversary coming up, we’d love to help you promote it.

 Whole Foods Market 20th anniversary

Sustainable Tuna Fishing in the Marshall Islands 2019

Genova & MSC digital campaign

We joined our partner, Genova Seafood, and sustainable fishing advocate, Valentine Thomas, on a journey to the Marshall Islands in the Central Pacific to learn about the world’s largest sustainable tuna fishery. The digital and social media marketing campaign to promote the story was launched May 2nd, 2019 in celebration of world Tuna Day.

The Marshall Islands is one of the eight countries that make up the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA). Covering just over 70 square miles of land, this small island nation could more accurately be called a big ocean state. In their waters, and the waters of the other PNA nations, live more than a quarter of the world's tuna. 

Valentine Thomas is a freediver, spearfisher, and sustainable seafood advocate. As someone who catches her seafood one-by-one, she has a deep respect and understanding of the ocean. Recognizing that only a select few people have the opportunity to catch their own fish, Valentine wanted to learn more about large-scale fishing that can feed the world sustainably and the story behind an MSC certified can of Genova Seafood. She accompanied the MSC to the Marshall Islands to learn how the PNA tuna fishery ensures that there will be seafood available now and for generations to come.

Meeting the people behind the label is a great way to help consumers feel more connected with their food. We have unique access to fisheries around the world and would love to help connect you with them. Reach out if you’re interested in collaborating on a fishery visit!

MSC certified sustainable tuna in the Marshall Islands with Valentine Thomas

McDonald’s Scale for Good campaign 2018

Launches ‘Reel It In’ educational game

MSC US partnered with McDonald's on their June 2018 'Scale for Good' campaign celebrating their commitment to certified sustainable seafood, healthy oceans for the future, and public education.

They developed a card game based on the filet-o-fish to educate families on ocean-friendly seafood. It was released in time for World Ocean Day, June 8th. 

To celebrate the launch of the game, engage consumers and industry, McDonald’s promoted through: 

  • PR and social media efforts
  • Digital advertising
  • Influencer campaign & media mailers
  • Sponsorship of DC Capitol Hill Ocean Week

Have an out-of-the-box idea for educating your customers on sustainability? We would love to make it happen. And be sure to check out our educational resources page for inspiration! 

McDonald's sustainable seafood card game: Reel it In!

Americans Vote with Their Wallets (2017-18)

Sam’s Club in-store campaign

Sam’s Club gave members a choice been certified and non-certified supplements, running a side-by-side test in stores across the U.S. Certified supplements were priced slightly higher and included simple point of sale messaging (pallet skirts, trays, cards, product labels). The MSC certified supplements ‘won’, with shoppers voting overwhelmingly with their wallets to choose the certified sustainable option.

Interested in creating new in-store messaging? Send us an email!

Sam's Club aisle, Ocean Champion award, and MSC certified fish oil



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