Benito's Hat Mexican Kitchen 'Day of the Dead' campaign by Unity


The founder of Benito’s Hat Mexican Kitchen approached Unity, keen to ramp its marketing programme up a notch. Unity was tasked with creating a campaign to tackle three overriding objectives:
•      Drive buzz for Benito’s Hat
•      Increase the number of Twitter followers
•      Achieve an increase in sales
Expectations were high and without the benefit of big budgets behind us, our challenge was to work smart and add low cost touches of magic to create Brand LoveTM for the restaurant chain.
Benito’s Hat has three restaurants in London: Covent Garden, Goodge Street and Oxford Circus and so to reduce ‘message wastage’ Unity needed to define its target audience neatly. But who works in those areas and who is likely to visit the restaurants for lunch, dinner and cocktails? Well, in fact it’s people not too different from ourselves – most of them are young folks working in creative agencies: advertising, PR, marketing and media.

Our campaign hinged on something that we’ve noticed among ‘people like us’: we are competitive, we strive for social recognition amongst our peers and we’re hungry! Not us, surely? Unity proposed a campaign that put these characteristics at its core to deliver against our agreed objectives. By a stroke of luck, the Mexican celebration of Day of the Dead – or Día de los Muertos – was approaching so Unity recommended using this calendar hook to anchor our activity.

Unity proposed a gamified ‘tweets for eats’ mechanic, whereby we encouraged offices in Central London to tweet give me a free burrito to @benitoschat using #dayofthedead and their #officename as hashtags. The offices were in competition with each other – the more tweets an office fired at us, the more likely it was to win a free burrito feast for themselves and their colleagues, creating a sense of fun, excitement and jeopardy.
These tweets effectively ‘steered’, in real time, a branded Day of the Dead Karma Kar to their office, through London.
At the same time Unity had one eye on Benito’s Hat’s challenge to drive people in-store so we suggested two more mechanics to fulfill this objective. Londoners would receive 50% off their main meal if they visited in Day of the Dead fancy dress: think skull facepainting, Hawaiian shirts, garlands of marigolds and top hats! And there was one more way to win - if someone spotted the Karma Kar on its way around London, took a picture of it and presented it in-store they could receive further money off their meal.
The following tactics were used to promote the campaign:
Social media outreach and engagement: We spread the word to creative agencies on Twitter and, as if by magic, they in turn spread the word to their friends and colleagues on the promise of a delicious delivery coming their way. As well as office workers, we contacted the Twitter profiles of media outlets to spread news of the promotion.
Media relations: A targeted programme of media relations accompanied the social media campaign. Media targets included all online London-centric titles that include quirky stories, eating and drinking articles as well as marketing trade titles. ViewLondon, TimeOut, theLondonist, AllinLondon, PR Week, The Drum, New Media Age among others were targeted to cover the story.
Influencer outreach and engagement: As the campaign progressed, Unity capitalised on the buzz it was creating and involved radio stations based nearby. We delivered burritos to the breakfast show teams on Capital FM, Radio 1, 1xtra, XFM, Heart, LBC and Absolute Radio to further drive buzz via the airwaves as well as on Twitter.

Almost immediately the campaign started to gain serious traction on Twitter, in fact by day three of the campaign, we had:

•      Become the number three trending topic in the whole of the UK
•      More than 2,000 Twitter mentions of the competition and #dayofthedead
•      A total reach on Twitter of over 800,000
•      A total exposure of 1.2million impressions
•      Tweets from Dougie Poynter from McFly (419,000 followers of whom 100 re-tweeted), Lisa Snowdon from Capital FM (49,000 followers) and TimeOut London (81,000 followers)
•      Increased follower numbers by 558
And the twittersphere wasn’t alone in being charmed by the campaign. Over one week, Unity secured 14 pieces of coverage in titles including ViewLondon, TheLondonist, LondonTown. PR Week, Metro, Urban Junkies and Another Magazine, reaching a potential 6.2 million people.

But the proof of the burrito is in the in eating… Overall, the campaign secured a restaurant sales uplift of 25%, representing exceptional value for money and evidencing that Twitter buzz has a direct real-world impact.
Commenting on the project, Ben Fordham, founder of Benito’s Hat, said: “Congratulations to Unity on the huge success of the Day of the Dead twitter campaign. We gained an enormous amount of new followers and fans over the three days and saw several very high profile twitterati engaging in our message. Furthermore, we saw an immediate positive impact on our sales at our restaurants to the tune of a 25% increase. We are confident that the significant brand awareness generated by the campaign will lead to it being a fantastic commercial success in the weeks and months to come. We can’t wait to do it all over again next year.”
Final word… it’s worth noting that subsequently a number of brands have used this mechanic to generate interest and excitement in their product, however we were the first…

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