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

A classic holiday story got a White Castle twist.

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

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. 

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

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.

“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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