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Vegan Speech Promotion Project results

Basic idea:

Promote the best performing and most widely known speeches by Vegan Activists through Social Media in countries with low promotion costs, to reach the largest amount of people possible.

Where I am with the project:

I started trying to promote Dominion on Social Media, which saw some success but ultimately the ads were deleted by Facebook (and many other social media sites) as Dominion is against their ad content policy. I did a quick poll on reddit which shows that quite a lot of people would be willing to donate towards promoting Dominion. From some more polls I did, it seems like after Documentaries, speeches are the single form of activism that gets most people to go vegan.(For comparison I also asked about street activism and Vegan starter programs, both of which got less people on Reddit to go vegan. This is also – to a degree – backed up by larger and more professional polls like this one.)

All of this led me to experiment with promoting some of the larger vegan speeches on Facebook, I tried Earthling Ed’s, James Aspey’s and Gary Yourofsky’s, out of which Ed and Gary got the best results.

Initial Results:

I got the best results promoting the speeches as videos directly uploaded to Facebook, with two specific target groups:Target group A: Young (18-30) English speaking people worldwide.Target group B: Young (18-30) English speaking people in countries with a high search interest (At least 10 according to google) in veganism and low income / low promotion costs. (For example: Philippines)

I ran the tests on this Facebook page I set up: Humane World with a goal of maximizing engagements. I was interested in 3 metrics:

Total watchtime

“Heart” Reactions to the video - The video title each time was “React with a heart if this speech makes you want to GO VEGAN”, so heart reactions would indicate people who were ‘reached’ by the speech for lack of a better word.

Real sessions to the end of the video - I wanted to know what amount of people watching the whole speech to the end are real people (not bots) and are actually watching (not afk), so I uploaded each video with 30 minutes of a black screen and loud static noise at the end, with the idea that any real person actually watching would stop watching as soon as the black screen and static noise starts. So real sessions to the end are the amount of people who stopped watching at that exact point.So here are the results of two of these tests:

Speech by Ed, Target group A

Budget: 25 €
Watchtime (hours): 1272
Heart reactions: 238
Real sessions to end: 46
Hours/€: 50,9
Hearts/€: 9,5
Real sessions / €: 1,8

Speech by Gary, target group B:

Budget: 25 €
Watchtime (hours): 308
Heart reactions: 556
Real sessions to end: 8
Hours/€: 12,3
Hearts/€: 22,2
Real sessions/€: 0,3

In my personal opinion, these initial results were very encouraging, and getting people to watch the speech for ~30 hours, with about two real people watching to the end, and 15 or so people indicating it made them want to go vegan for every € spent, seems like a highly effective way to spend money for the animals.

Later results / feedback:

Before turning this project into a larger campaign, I wanted to get more confirmation that promoting these speeches actually made more people want to go Vegan. To do so, I tried several different approaches:

Ask people for comments – I uploaded the same speeches but switched the title out from “React with a heart if this speech makes you want to go Vegan” to “Let us know in the comments if this speech makes you want to go Vegan.” The video can be found here. Unfortunately, even at a promotion budget of around 100€, this approach did not result in any people commenting that the speech inspired them to go Vegan.

Ask people to fill out a short survey – I posted this short survey under several of the posts promoting either speech, the survey got a total of 7 responses, of which only one indicated it had actually inspired someone to want to go Vegan.

Encourage people to fill out a survey with a gift card. - I posted the speeches again with the title “Fill out a short survey about this speech for a chance to win a 50$ Amazon gift card” and promoted those posts with a total budget of around 100€ again. Linked under these posts was this survey. While the survey got over 900 responses, all of them without exception seem to be generated by bots (for example when asked to give a short summary of what the speech was about, the vast majority of responses either used a single word, the speech title, a sentence from the survey itself, or a short text on a completely different topic as an answer.)

Link to a different website – After the previous attempts to get more confirmation if this was potentially an effective campaign had failed, I created a website GoVeganEasy.org with detailed analytics and promoted the speeches aswell as this shorter video with a link to the website and website visitors as the ad goal. The website (which is no longer online) featured the documentary Dominion, and information on how to go Vegan. The idea here was to see how long people spend on the website reading the info there and watching the documentary, to judge if people were actually inspired by the promoted content on Facebook to seek more info. On a budget of again around 100€, a bit over 1000 people visited the website, and on average spent 12 seconds on the website. This means all users combined only spent under 3 hours on the website, which on a budget of 100€ is in my opinion not an effective use of money.

Advice needed

So after all four of these approaches failed to produce results that would indicate this project is an effective use of money, I have for now put it on hold.

The very promising initial results still make me think this could be a highly effective way to get more people to go Vegan, but I will not pursue it further if I cannot confirm this. If anyone has further ideas how to test this, please let me know.





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Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 6:04 PM

From some more polls I did, it seems like after Documentaries, speeches are the single form of activism that gets most people to go vegan... This is also – to a degree – backed up by larger and more professional polls like this one.)


You might find our recently published survey about what prompted vegetarians/vegans to go vegetarian/vegan relevant. We argue in the post that previous surveys often suffered from two problems: 

  • Highly unrepresentative samples (e.g. people who are active in an online group about veganism may be very different to the wider population of people on a vegetarian/vegan diet (younger, more likely to be an activist, more likely to be motivated by welfare rather than heath or other reasons)
  • Varying, incomplete sets of response options (e.g. some will include online videos, some won't; some will combine all websites into one category, others split them into different groups etc.)

We tried to overcome these limitations in our own work (for example, this sample is of vegetarians and vegans recruited from a general online survey recruitment site, and the survey was not advertised as being about vegetarianism and veganism).

We also found that documentaries were reported to be among the most common factors that first influenced people to adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet, and as being generally reported as highly influential on respondents' decisions.

Thanks, very interesting indeed!

Executive summary: Tests promoting impactful vegan speeches on social media in low-income countries had promising initial results for reach and engagement, but follow-up surveys failed to confirm speeches inspired more veganism. Advice sought on further testing impact.

Key points:

  1. Promoted speeches by Ed and Gary on Facebook to target groups in the Philippines and worldwide.
  2. Initial metrics (watch time, reactions, completion rate) seemed very cost-effective.
  3. But later attempts to survey impact did not confirm speeches inspired more veganism.
  4. Tried asking for comments, surveys with and without incentives - little useful response.
  5. Also tried linking to outside website to track engagement - minimal time spent.
  6. Initial promise indicates more testing could be worthwhile, but impact remains unconfirmed.
  7. Seeking advice on better methods to test if speeches drive vegan adoption.


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