Prezzo serves up food and live acts

Restaurant chain Prezzo wanted to give customers an extra incentive to eat out. PHA Media was briefed to create a campaign that would capture the public's attention and help Prezzo to stand out in the crowded mid-market restaurant sector. As a result, the PR team created Prezzo Live - a nationwide competition to find unsigned artists who would perform at local Prezzo restaurants.

On song: finalist Dani Blue
On song: finalist Dani Blue

Campaign: Prezzo Live
Client: Prezzo Restaurant Group
PR team: PHA Media
Timescale: October-December 2010
Budget: £12,000

OBJECTIVES

- To establish Prezzo as a credible music venue

- To create an annual 'main event' for the Prezzo calendar

- To increase the number of fans on Twitter and Facebook

- To engage with existing Twitter and Facebook fans.

STRATEGY AND PLAN

The campaign focused on the nationwide competition to find new performers for Prezzo. The prize was a ten-date tour of Prezzo outlets during 2011.

The PR team began by tackling the aim to increase social media interaction and announced the competition via the Prezzo Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as in a customer newsletter a month before the tour start date. Contestants were asked to send in a video of their music. From 50 applicants, 11 were chosen by Prezzo to perform in their local restaurants across the country. Once the initial 11 competitors were chosen, a performance schedule was created, with one performance a week for 11 weeks. The dates began in October in Southampton and concluded in Harrogate in December.

Each event was hosted by Taunton-based signed artist Dan Crisp, who also participated in the finale.

On the night of the final, the London Haymarket restaurant was booked to capacity and each artist performed a 15-minute act to a panel of judges - Crisp, Prezzo CEO Jonathan Kaye and James Dugmore, CEO and MD of Canned Heat Entertainment.

MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION

Ahead of each Prezzo performance date, interviews and profiles on the artists were secured in local media. Regional coverage included the Southern Daily Echo, The Argus in Brighton, the Reading Post and the Harrogate Advertiser. The winning artist's tour was covered regionally in every area in which she performed. Outlets included the Hull Advertiser, the Bury Free Press, the Sheffield Star and the Leicester Mercury.

RESULTS

On each night of the Prezzo Live tour, restaurants were filled to capacity and customers were asked to queue or return at a later time. All the performances were held on a weeknight when many tables would normally have been empty.

The number of Facebook fans rose from 48,709 to 53,076.

The winning act, Alexa Fouracre, performed at ten different Prezzo restaurants between 11 February and 24 March. Each night, the venues were filled to capacity and reviewed by local media.

Prezzo now has plans for Prezzo Live to return in the autumn of 2011.

SECOND OPINION - JO BARNES, FOUNDER, SAUCE COMMUNICATIONS

PHA Media has cannily created a campaign that generated exposure for a mid-range restaurant chain, which is traditionally the hardest sector of the restaurant industry to attract positive coverage.

By not focusing on the food and aligning Prezzo with untapped musical talent and using social media to promote the competition, PHA has skilfully managed to project a cool, youthful and vibrant image for the Prezzo brand.

Prezzo has also created an annual event that could be built upon in the future.

PHA could further use social media in the future through increased Twitter activity, live podcasts and putting films on YouTube.

The competition would also gain further credibility if Prezzo teamed up with a heavy-hitting musical publication or radio station, or ultimately made the final gig a showcase for record labels and other musical opinion-formers to attend.

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