How Richard Dreyfuss helped White Castle raise $25k for restaurant workers

A classic holiday story got a White Castle twist.

Campaign: Twas the Night Before Cravemas
Company: White Castle
Agency partners: Merkley + Partners 
Duration: December 2020

White Castle put its own spin on a Christmas classic in a campaign to help restaurant workers.  The chain created a digital storybook called, “Twas the Night Before Cravemas,” set in a White Castle and read by actor Richard Dreyfuss. 

Strategy
Six weeks before the holidays, creatives at Merkley + Partners gathered to brainstorm ideas for client White Castle. One was creating a White Castle-themed version of the storybook classic Twas Night Before Christmas

Tactics
Merkley + Partners put together a team to develop the concept, titled, “Twas the Night Before Cravemas.” The story, which takes place in a White Castle, follows St. Nicholas as he sneaks through a drive-thru window for some late-night sliders. To narrate the digital storybook, the brand reached out to actor Richard Dreyfuss, an Academy Award winner in addition to being a White Castle fan.

“We wanted it to be charming and have a retro feel,” said Eddie Van Bloem, Merkley + Partners group creative director. “Incorporating White Castle into that world was very fun.”

Particularly during a year marked by so much pain and difficulty, the team appreciated working on a warm-hearted campaign removed from the news cycle.

“It was quite lovely to put aside all the crazy for a while to focus on something that is fun and charming,” Van Bloem said.

Given the economic hardship brought on by the pandemic, White Castle wanted to incorporate a charitable element. The company pledged to donate $1 per view of the storybook up to $25,000, with the funds going to restaurant workers.

Results
“Twas the Night Before Cravemas” was viewed more than 86,000 times across Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. This included 80,000 views on Facebook, 131% higher than White Castle’s average views per video on the platform in 2020.

The campaign raised $25,000 for restaurant workers. 

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