CAMPAIGNS: Welcome to the gastrodome - Corporate Branding

Bluebird, Terence Conran’s latest venture, has been called a ’gastrodrome’ or ’collection of food-related activities’. It comprises a restaurant, cafe, food and wine store, chef shop, flower shop, outdoor fruit and veg market and private dining club - all under one roof. Bluebird has been heralded as Conran’s most ambitious food retailing project to date.

Bluebird, Terence Conran’s latest venture, has been called a

’gastrodrome’ or ’collection of food-related activities’. It comprises a

restaurant, cafe, food and wine store, chef shop, flower shop, outdoor

fruit and veg market and private dining club - all under one roof.

Bluebird has been heralded as Conran’s most ambitious food retailing

project to date.



Objectives



To position Bluebird as a food market and restaurant for the local

community.



To convey the inspiration behind Bluebird and its significance for food

retailing.



Tactics



The launch focused on encouraging local people to use Bluebird as their

neighbourhood store and restaurant. Conran was responsible for the

unusual choice of marketing tool - a highly visual newspaper.



’I wanted a means of letting people know about Bluebird and everything

we are doing there,’ he said. ’The newspaper gave us the space to cover

all the topics, an opportunity to produce something that people would

remember and the means to target distribution very effectively.’



The newspaper was distributed two weeks before the opening to 165,000

households in west and south-west London. Additional copies were

distributed via the Evening Standard’s ES magazine, the Conran Shop,

local health clubs and handed out at nearby tube stations. To capitalise

on the interest of passers-by as the hoardings surrounding Bluebird were

removed, an actor was hired to hand out further copies.



The press launch highlighted the many dimensions of the project by

targeting the lifestyle, shopping, design, restaurant and food press as

well as London-based media. The main focus was a press lunch for 80

journalists who were grouped according to interest and taken on a

specially tailored tour. On launch date, 14 May, a photocall was held

outside Bluebird and Conran was available for interviews with local

press, TV and radio.



Results



Press coverage to date includes features in the Daily Telegraph, the

Independent Magazine, the Guardian Weekend, the Sunday Times and Mail on

Sunday as well as reviews in Time Out and the Evening Standard.

Broadcast exposure includes items on radio stations GLR and Heart, and

TV news programmes London Tonight and Channel 5 News.



To date the newspaper has generated 2,500 responses out of an initial

distribution of 400,000.



According to Conran, the overall response to the Bluebird launch has

been so good that ’we’ll be producing something similar for the new

Conran Shop in Marylebone High Street’.



Verdict



The newspaper worked well in terms of reaching and attracting Bluebird’s

target clientele and in communicating the idea behind Bluebird.



Although the coverage was generally favourable, there were negative

reviews in the Evening Standard and the Independent just after the

launch, but this is perhaps unsurprising for a project this

ambitious.



The criticism has not been without benefits, however. Several ’rival’

restaurateurs - such as the critic Egon Ronay, and Gordon Ramsay who

owns Aubergine restaurant - have publicly supported Bluebird and its

restaurant booking line has apparently not stopped ringing since it

opened.



Client: Bluebird - the King’s Road gastrodrome

PR Team: In-house

Campaign: Launch of Bluebird

Timescale: Six months prior to May launch and ongoing

Cost: Undisclosed



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