Protoleaf is a Japanese gardening soil brand. However, concerns about nuclear radiation from Fukushima had caused consumers to question soil safety – even in store-bought products. We wanted to let consumers recognize the surprising quality and safety of the product.
We needed to change the negative conversation about soil into positive news. We thought, “What if the soil was so safe, you could actually eat it?” Since people just love talking about restaurants, we opened “The Soil Restaurant” as a core media. To communicate our soil quality and safety, we hired a Michelin 3-star chef who created a full course meal using Protoleaf Soil as the main ingredient. The restaurant was open to the public and charged $100 per person.
Customers and journalists ate it up, resulting in massive coverage not only in Japan but in 20 countries throughout the world as well, including features on CNN, CBS and BBC. It gained US$8,900,000 in the world, in total exposure. Finally consumers felt safe to buy soil again as sales surged to 130% versus the previous year. This meant people could once again return to their gardens and producing their own food.