Campaign: Opening of Floridita and La Casa del Habano
PR team: Wild Card PR
Timescale: July 2004-March 2005
Budget pounds: 10,000-£25,000
Floridita and La Casa del Habano are two Cuban venues in London's Wardour Street. They opened in October 2004 as a joint venture between Conran Restaurants and Havana Holdings - Floridita is a bar offering Cuban music, cocktails, cigars and food, while next door, La Casa del Habano is a luxury cigar boutique, walk-in humidor and lounge. Wild Card PR promoted the venues. Objectives
To maximise media awareness of Floridita and La Casa del Habano and generate footfall from early evening drinks to late-night clubbing.
Strategy and Plan
The team positioned the clubs as new hotspots to revel in Cuban and Latin music, dance, drink, food and cigars.
The target audiences were diners, drinkers and smokers, fashionistas and private event organisers. The target media were food, drink, music, travel and cigar writers on national weekend supplements; the London listings and music media; specialist food, drink and cigar press; and the bar and restaurant trade press.
Pre-opening coverage was essential to drive footfall in the opening weeks, though there was nothing tangible for journalists to see in the early stages. Wild Card secured features before, during and after the venue openings, and negotiated radio and TV slots with broadcasters.
Journalists Rose Prince (The Daily Telegraph Magazine) and Susan Ward-Davies (Daily Express, Elle and Time Out) were invited on a five-day trip to Havana. The agency also organised an intimate 'Cuba meets London' evening of entertainment for The Independent on Sunday.
Hosted by Floridita general manager Brian Bendix, the event included Cuban cocktails, food and cigars, plus music from Trio Taicuba and Buena Vista Social Club.
Measurement and Evaluation
The campaign achieved exposure in more than 30 publications, espousing Floridita as 'the home of the daiquiri'. It included consecutive double-page spreads in leading trade publication Theme and a positive review from AA Gill in The Sunday Times Style.
The Havana trip resulted in five pages in The Daily Telegraph Magazine and a spread in the Daily Express. Other coverage included Time Out, Tatler, Harpers & Queen, London Radio and the BBC.
The six-month campaign successfully launched a bar, restaurant and dance venue, delivering footfall in a crowded market. Floridita says the venues are 'places to be' and require at least two weeks' notice to secure a booking.