Using a homegrown celebrity for brand positioning

I was first introduced to Saint Michael Foods, which produces buckwheat milk products under BUCK, when we interviewed former Co-Founder Jason McIvor (right, at photo) at VEG Networking Canada. (Founder and CEO Peter Yupangco is at left.)

We learned about a video campaign BUCK had done to try and attract local celebrity Ryan Reynolds, to help them deliver their products to schools and families. Here’s that video:


Video marketing results in increased retail distribution

I invited BUCK to submit a story for my book. Jason highlighted the video that I’d seen very recently. I wrote in the video section in the Digital Marketing chapter:

For buckwheat beverage and gelato company BUCK, a video campaign for a good cause yielded amazing results. BUCK wanted to create an inspired video that invited celebrity actor Ryan Reynolds to get “BUCK naked” for a good cause. The company scripted a video in a month and shot it in one day at a location with multiple rooms. The total cost was roughly C$1,500.

“Our views of the video weren’t tremendous but were 500% more than an average post,” said BUCK Co-Founder Jason McIvor, who also stars in the video. “The real benefit was getting the video to industry people who are opening the door for us. We have acquired one hundred additional store listings because of the video as well as new partners that have reached out. We are about to do a massive giveaway combined with this crazy video and we expect a further following because of it.”

Every company doesn’t need to be on YouTube, but the power of videos is undeniable. Don’t try to make videos that will go viral; they can be educational, entertaining, and, in BUCK’s case, unexpectedly open doors to expanded distribution. Be sure to use keywords in your title and description and maximize the five hundred characters you have in the tags field. If you haven’t started doing videos yet, it’s time to get on board. I mean, on camera!

There are a few other points I want to make here. I’m sure Ryan Reynolds saw the video—he’s very active in charities locally—but didn’t find it a fit to get involved. But BUCK’s video budget was fairly low, so it more than paid itself in retail distribution. Even though it didn’t get many views, it had secondary effects. And as you may have seen briefly in my book trailer, BUCK has a great presence at events. Check out their website, to learn more about the amazing benefits of buckwheat to the environment and health.


The Vegan Marketing Success Stories ebook is now available to purchase on and other sites here. The paperback and audio book launch November 1 on Lulu’s bookstore and Audible.

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