The Bunches of Love campaign saw Save-On-Foods starting a genuine conversation regarding women's health.

After filming for Bunches of Love AntiSocial’s Media Manager, Warren Fenton, and I sat down. Warren discusses the shoot, the importance of women’s healthcare, and how incredible it is that a grocery giant like Save-On-Foods will pivot from their regular brand voice to support a good cause.

Save-On-Foods & Bunches of Love!

For Bunches of Love Save-On-Foods worked with four hospitals across Western Canada who have Women’s Health programs. The grocery chain donated 100% of their net proceeds from the floral department to support these charities. And, they ran the charity before and during Mother’s Day — one of the most popular times of the year to buy flowers.

Let’s consider the gravity of this for a moment: Save-On-Foods, a Canadian grocery giant, committed 100% of the net proceeds during one of the busiest times for their floral department. That’s huge. And, they weren’t asking for anything extra from their clientele, you buy the flowers as you normally would, and Save-On-Foods gives the money to a charity supporting women’s health programs.

Plus, they were humble about it. They stated: “Your support will help fund the most critical equipment needs of the hospital — saving lives and strengthening our communities.” Note: they said “Your support” not “Our support”. Kudos to you, Save-On-Foods! 

The entire situation was genuine, selfless, and for a great cause. As any charity should be.

The people behind the Bunches of Love video:

Warren, tell us a bit about who you shot for the video: 

Warren Fenton: “We had Darrel Jones, the president of Save-On-Foods, talking about it. Genesa Greening, the president and CEO of BC’s Women’s Hospital & Health Centre, on it as well. She was offering statistics, some of which were straight up shocking. I full on had a jaw-dropping moment when she told me that women had only started becoming included in clinical trials in 1998.”  

This statistic is heavy. Why, exactly, weren’t half the population included in these clinical studies?

WF: “Some of the stuff you hear about, some of it is just really just confusing. Why did they do it this way? For me, I’m a man, these issues don’t affect me the same way as I’m not a woman. I need some information to know what needs doing, and when someone confronts you with a stat that insane then yeah, you realize you need to contribute in some way.” 

WF: “We also had Tami Mitchell, the Director of Marketing for Save-On-Foods, she’s in her 3rd trimester and is accessing a lot of women’s resources in Vancouver, she offers a perspective of what it’s like to access women’s health. She touched on having a miscarriage herself and that 1 in 4 women experience them. That’s a huge stat that no one talks about it. She spoke on what the medical services to do with a miscarriage are and the counselling that’s available through women’s hospitals directly, which is an important thing to consider.” 

WF: “And there was Jim Waites, the General Manager of Produce and Floral. He had a granddaughter recently and is really emotionally invested in caring for women in that way. He also mentioned he had a lot of female mentorship and he wanted to give back through his department.” 

A change in tone isn't always easy.

Save-On-Foods’ brand voice has long been friendly, informative, and positive. But, being a brand as huge as they are, they typically don’t make things personal. The video behind this campaign was different.

It could be a necessary angle to take to show people how important an issue like women’s health is. Or, it could be that the people behind this video and Save-On-Foods take issues like women’s health personally and this video was as emotionally honest as it could be. Either way, the resulting piece was a beautifully real snapshot into how four people, in a matter of seconds, could tell their truth on the importance of women’s health.

Engaging with emotions.

This piece of work swerved away from Save-On’s regular brand voice. 

WF: “This was a hugely emotionally driven piece, really trying to get people engaged on that emotional level to understand that the need is there and then having them wanting to support because of that. 

There are different ways for charities to solicit donations. In this case, it’s an emotional appeal because women’s health is such a broad range of things — it can mean so much. It isn’t a category that always gets the attention it deserves. I mean, there are so many men in politics that don’t take these things as seriously as they should. I have a friend who eventually had a hysterectomy because she had endometriosis, but she had to go back to the doctor for two full years before she got a diagnosis and treatment options.”

Without attributing importance to research into and support for women’s health, stories like the one involving Warren’s friend will continue to be the norm. And sometimes, to make people understand how important it is, you have to appeal to their emotions.

WF: “I’ve always been fairly aware of women’s health — my mom is a lab technician with a provincial lab in Alberta — they create HIV testing methods, she specifically works in virology. She’ll come home and talk about basic stuff like, “wash your hands” and up to really high-level things — a few years ago she told me she had a miscarriage. I really didn’t realize that was so common. For that to happen to my own mom… It took me by surprise, I started to realize how much it happens.”

Again, 1 in 4 women (and their partners) suffer from miscarriages. And again, women were only included in clinical trials after 1998. Charity initiatives like Bunches of Love support women’s healthcare and bring a much-needed focus to the importance of these issues.