Hatching an idea: VMLY&R’s Paul Nagy on FitChix campaign’s cracking success

VMLY&R's 'FitChix' campaign has won just about every award, but what came first: the chicken, the egg, or the idea? Chief creative officer Paul Nagy explains.

Developed for Honest Eggs Co., the campaign, led by group ECD Jake Barrow, launched in March this year, and took an unconventional approach to showcasing the health and happiness of the brand’s chickens.

VMLY&R worked with tech team Airbag to create a fitness tracker for chickens, to prove the farm’s free range credentials. Multiple prototypes were engineered to capture the activity levels of each chicken, including step counts – which are printed onto every egg before they are sent to supermarkets.

“It came from such a beautiful problem,” Nagy says. “There was a very clear issue when people walk into the egg aisle at a supermarket and are confronted with a whole bunch of eggs – cage free, free range, and all those different names.

“But the truth is that most of those classifications are misleading, but Honest Eggs Co. was doing something really different – their chickens have an amazing life where they can wander free, eat natural food, et cetera.”

Nagy says the ideation started with the “now famous” image of steps printed on an egg.

An egg with steps printed on it

“That was the first idea imagined that was ever presented,” he says. “I’ll never forget seeing that for the first time because I saw the power of it right then and there.

“To then see that transpose into the real world and have an impact, it’s what every creative dreams of.”

Barrow and the team took a different approach to the overall strategy, according to Nagy.

“What we try and do these days is solve problems in a way that actually try to fix the problem, not just make an ad addressing the problem.

“We could have very easily made billboards showing the difference between what Honest Eggs Co. is doing and what other brands were doing, but that wouldn’t give us any value,” he says.

Nagy says the team instead created a strong PR story that promoted the brand in an innovative and unique way – using OOH, social and in-store executions.

“We still had to get the word out somehow though, because its no good if not enough people recognise or understand it,” he explains.

To this day, Honest Eggs Co. have been sold out of their eggs quickly after every re-stock. Nagy says the VMLY&R team is always pleased to see this.

“We want to make that impact for our clients,” he says. “Because of the nature of their business at Honest Eggs Co., they can’t just ramp up production because it was so successful, so as fast as they can make eggs, they are selling them. And that’s what makes us super proud.”

The campaign was recognised internationally. Several global brands approached VMLY&R asking to use the trackers to promote their own eggs, and the campaign picked up a multitude of awards including at the Cannes Lions Festival, where it took home a Gold Lion, two Silvers, one Bronze and four shortlists.

Nagy says he was incredibly proud of the recognition the campaign got globally, and was pleased with the results from various awards – but thought it deserved more in categories such as creative data.

“We had such amazing results, but I don’t know how much more creative you can be with data than hacking into the step count of a chicken to give customers such a differentiated choice at the point of purchase.”

“I said to Jake [Barrow] and the team that I would have loved to see it do a bit better, because I thought it deserved it, but it’s still an incredible result.”


The best success from the campaign, however, was the “massive impact” it left on the egg industry, and the difference it made, according to Nagy.

“Honest Eggs Co. are an amazing client who were happy to do things really differently, and they took a chance with us,” he says.

“We want to keep making that difference because it felt really good, and it is a category that could do with some change.

“We’d like to think we’ve made the entire category a little more honest and transparent,” Nagy concludes.


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