Cateys 2012: Best Independent Marketing Campaign – The French Laundry at Harrods

06 July 2012
Cateys 2012: Best Independent Marketing Campaign – The French Laundry at Harrods

Sponsored by Kraft Foods

When the marketing team at Harrods decided it wanted to shout about its iconic department store's fine-dining credentials and build its reputation as a foodie destination, it knew it had to aim high. The result was a pop-up restaurant that brought world-renowned chef Thomas Keller and his three-Michelin-starred California venue the French Laundry to Knightsbridge for 10 days in October 2011.

No detail was ignored in the effort to recreate as authentic a replica of the restaurant as possible. The exterior featured a garden setting and a brick facade with the famous blue door; inside, light fittings and tabletop evoked the French Laundry feel.

The results were impressive. The marketing and PR campaigns around the pop-up reached an estimated 110 million people worldwide, delivering £1.5m of value. Traffic to the pop-up's dedicated microsite topped 100,000, while a video interview with Keller was watched more than 9,500 times.

In total, the social media campaign touched an estimated 10 million people. As well as underlining Harrods' renewed focus on fine dining, the campaign provided a platform for the announcement of permanent partnerships with chefs including the Galvin brothers and Richard Corrigan.

It goes without saying that all 10 days were sell-outs, though the auction of a table of two each night, raising over £4,000 for Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, ensured a tick in the social responsibility box.


"An inspirational partnership that was executed and delivered to a level far beyond expectation. Experienced and respected brands held in such high esteem created an imaginative concept which enabled them to achieve their expectations."
Louise Philip, Hotel du Vin

"The winner was a one-off, exciting, modern initiative that caused a stir in the market - and was impossible to get a booking for! The press coverage was phenomenal. The initiative achieved what it set out to do. Hats off to them for pulling off something that a lot of people wished they had thought of first. There was also a charity element which gave the whole thing more credence."
Paula Mercieca, Dorchester Collection

"Pure class in every way and an excellent example of a well-considered and impactful campaign that significantly over-achieved on its objectives."
Mia Manson-Bishop, Delaware North


â- The Coniston Hotel, Skipton
â- The French Laundry at Harrods, London
â- The Pig, Lyndhurst

The Judges
Mark Derry, director, Brasserie Bar Company
Debrah Dhugga, managing director, Dukes London
Amanda Dobinson, marketing director, D&D London
Mia Manson-Bishop, business development and marketing director, Delaware North Companies
Paula Mercieca, director of sales, Dorchester Collection
Louise Philip, group marketing manager, Malmaison and Hotel du Vin
Sophie Roberts-Brown, executive director, Academy of Food and Wine Service

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