CAMPAIGNS: Leisure Sector - Peas survive rebrand ploy at Harvester

Client: Harvester restaurants

PR Team: Haslimann Taylor

Campaign: 'The Great Pea Debate'

Timescale: April - June

Budget: Part of monthly retainer



Harvester has more than 150 restaurants but the brand has been seen as

out of touch with modern dining habits.



Bass Leisure Retail updated Harvester with a refurbishment programme and

more contemporary menu. Haslimann Taylor was asked to communicate this

change.



Objectives



To raise awareness of the 'new' Harvester and encourage visits; to

differentiate Harvester and position it as a market leader within urban

restaurants; and to communicate key messages: new menu; fresh food;

responsiveness to what guests want.



Strategy and Plan



It was decided to trigger national debate on peas. A press release was

issued, announcing that Harvester was considering the fate of peas at

its restaurants. The National Pea Hotline was set up for people to call

with their comments.



Peterborough was identified national pea hotspot, with more calls in

favour of keeping peas than anywhere else.



A Pea Tsar was appointed to investigate the pro-pea results of the

hotline and anecdotal anti-pea feeling in Harvester restaurants. Once

the Pea Tsar had reported her findings, it was announced that Harvester

would be 'saving' the great British pea.



Key spokespeople were made available for interview and pea-related

photography was commissioned was issued with pea facts and recipes.



Measurement and Evaluation



Broadcast coverage included Channel 5, Sky News, BBC Radio 5 Live and

local radio. Print coverage included most national dailies and various

regional papers. The Hotline received 2,000 calls with 92 per cent in

favour of retaining peas.



Results



Key journalists learned about the new Harvester offer. The National Pea

Hotline generated a great response.



Many managers reported best-ever sales after the appointment of the Pea

Tsar. The Harvester in Peterborough recorded a 23 per cent week-on-week,

like-for-like sales increase.



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