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Cateys 2016: Best Marketing Campaign

08 July 2016
Cateys 2016: Best Marketing Campaign

Sponsored by Compass Group

Red's True Barbecue

A mix of innovative and traditional marketing initiatives which resulted in customers flocking to the new Red's True Barbecue restaurant in Liverpool, while at the same time boosting funds for a local charity, captured the imagination of the judges for the 2016 Best Marketing Campaign award.

A cleverly conceived competition entitled the ‘Hand of Red' resulted in 2,624 unique visits to Red's website at noon on 27 November 2015, the venue's opening day.

The idea was for potential customers to take part in an on- and off-line treasure hunt, linked to a campaign to raise money for homeless charity the Whitechapel Centre. On opening day, a Google map went live on the restaurant website, revealing the location of £1,000 to be spent at Red's, hidden at 60 locations across the city. Alongside redeeming the prize at Red's, money was also donated to the charity.

All 60 prizes were discovered within 15 minutes and redeemed during the two days following the restaurant opening.

Working on costs of £26,500, restaurant sales were 20% over budget during the first three months after the restaurant's launch; £3,024 was collected for Whitechapel, compared to the target figure of £2,500; and a Facebook fan base of 12,549, 25% up on the projected figure, was achieved prior to the opening.

Alongside the engagement of the community, extensive PR in the local and trade press was secured, with 150 key influencers from the city and 50 competition winners attending a sit-down service, while being entertained with live music.

Ruth McCaughley from the Whitechapel Centre said: "The campaign was extremely creative; it not only encouraged people to think about those less fortunate, but it moved people to action and donate money, while still remaining light-hearted and not being too worthy."

Founded by Scott Munro and James Douglas in 2012, with the opening of the group's first authentic American smokehouse restaurant in Leeds, Red's True Barbecue now numbers seven outlets. A further eight to 10 outlets are expected to open in the next couple of years, following a £9m investment deal secured at the end of 2015.

What the judges said

"This was a brilliantly executed, creative and innovative campaign, which delivered against its objectives. It will provide an outstanding lesson for current and future marketeers."

Ann Elliott

"The excellent operators of Red's True Barbecue have done a very effective job, with a distinct and original campaign - resulting in the opening of a busy Liverpool restaurant from day one."

Paul Goodale

"It has a clear target market, an intelligent approach and a fantastic return on investment."

Paul Hurren

"This quirky campaign really resonated with the target audience."

Sue Pimblett

The shortlist

  • Pizza Hut Restaurants UK
  • Port Gaverne Restaurant & Hotel Port Isaac, Cornwall
  • Red's True Barbecue

The judges

  • Stewart Davies Group operations director, GG Hospitality
  • Ann Elliott, CEO, Elliotts
  • Paul Goodale, Managing director, Epicurean Holdings
  • Paul Hurren, Managing director, Lusso
  • Anita Murray, Joint CEO, William Murray Communications
  • Sue Pimblett, Facilities directorate marketing and communications manager, University of Leeds
  • Samantha Ratcliffe, Sales and marketing director, Oddfellows Hotels
  • Paul West, CEO, Ignite Hospitality
  • Stephen Wilkinson, Area manager and senior inspector, AA Hotel & Hospitality Services
  • Patrick Willis, COO, MARC

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