TBWA Hakuhodo Japan serves dirt for dinner

SoilRestaurant.jpgSoilRestaurant_2.jpgProtoleaf is a Japanese gardening soil brand. Concerns about nuclear radiation from the Fukushima accident had caused consumers to question soil safety - even in store-bought products.

TBWA Hakuhodo Tokyo wanted to let stakeholders, including consumers and trade, recognize the surprising quality and safety of the product. What if the soil was so safe, you could actually eat it?

To showcase the soil quality and safety, TBWA Hakuhodo opened "The Soil Restaurant" with 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 $110 per person.


Customers and media ate up the story: The Soil Restaurant was widely reported on in Japan, and the news spread to over 20 countries globally, including features on CNN and the Discovery Channel.

SoilRestaurant3.jpgWith zero media investment, the agency clearly demonstrated the product safety to the world. Total free media exposure amounted to approximately US$8,900,000. As a result, consumers felt safe to buy soil again, and sales surged 130% versus the previous year. People could return to gardening and producing their own food.

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