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Name of the event: Blind tasting with a top chef (Launch of Master Burgers by McDonald’s – press gathering)
Date:  September 28, 2017
Location: McDonald’s restaurant, Kranj, Slovenia
Organizer: Futura DDB d.o.o.
Client: Alpe-Panon d.o.o. (McDonald’s Slovenia)
Event type: Press conference (combined with a series of events for wider public)

Q: How would you describe the event and what were the key objectives?
In September 2017 McDonald’s Slovenia launched a new generation of burgers called Master Burgers that are distinguished by the highest quality ingredients, masterful preparation, and harmonization of taste. Our job was to prepare a press conference where Master Burgers can be properly introduced to the wider public through media coverage. We decided to offer the media representatives an unforgettable experience that will motivate them to participate at the event and will result in a large number of rich in content media coverage.


The event was designed as a high-level restaurant experience that coincides with a new line of burgers and is not usual when visiting McDonald’s restaurants. The happening was spiced up with a blind tasting experience led by a top chef Karim Merdjadi. Guests were asked to put on blindfolds which helped them to aware the senses which are too often switched off and explore the mysterious tastes. Thus, the participants could concentrate both on tasting individual ingredients as well as on the harmony of tastes and structures. In addition to the media event, we’ve added a Facebook prize game for the wider public where they could win a Master Burgers dinner for two. We’ve selected 140 couples, invited them to their nearest McDonald’s restaurants and treated them with a high-level experience (seating hostesses, menu to choose a Master Burger from, table serving, personal touch). In this way, we’ve created a wider awareness about the launch of new burgers via the social network.

KEY CHALLENGES

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McDonald’s as a fast food chain supplier is often criticized by media and we had to take special care to stay with media coverage on the positive side, focused on the key messages of the event.

Another key challenge was the target public (journalists, media representatives, bloggers) used to all sorts of the events and therefore having set the bar for the key message receiving quite high. As to the wider public, we had to deliver a supreme experience and prove the high quality in a new line of burgers in order to trigger a larger amount of positively oriented posts on social networks.

CREATIVITY

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Special events that are an end to their self never work. Especially in the wide range of available events we are witnessing nowadays.

Therefore we always seek for the right solution to events objectives and key messages. By doing that we focus on stories that help us deliver the key messages in a particularly subtle and effective ways, in a way that functions as an unforgettable experience and results in desired efficiency and success.


Our press conference for Master burgers is a proof of how we can achieve events goals with a corresponding creative idea even when budgets are limited. It also proofs how events dimensions and its reach can be enlarged with the meaningful inclusion of other communication channels such as social networks.

INNOVATION

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The press event was designed as a supreme experience with a red carpet and seating hostesses greeting the guests upon arrival, tables decorated with flowers and reservation cards that are not usual for McDonald’s restaurants.

We’ve created a wow moment at the very beginning which softened the media representatives and made them more perceptible for the key messages of the event.


Another great creativity moment was representing the key messages through an unforgettable experience of blind tasting led by top chef Karim Merdjadi. Guests put on blindfolds which helped them to get aware of the senses and enable them to taste the ingredients and detect their premium touch.


Innovation was obvious in the following ways:
– the venue of the event being redesigned for the purposes of the happening (using a venue that is not common for the events, adding a scenography touch for a wow moment),
– the way we chose to submit key messages (through unforgettable and out of the box experience designed),
– the idea of spreading the word about the new product not only through media coverage but also through the inclusion of wider public via social networks

EXECUTION

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Event managing of the press conference started approximately a month before the event. It included conceptualizing and designing, script writing, planning and managing, coordination and collaboration of the client, event manager, designers, public relations managers, performers, technical support, scenography providers, gadgets providers etc.

A week before the event invitations to the key media representatives was sent via e-mail. A few days before the event we’ve called media representatives with an exciting approach about the blind tasting with a top chef that will surprisingly take place at McDonald’s restaurant. The response was amazing.


On the day of the event, we did a detailed briefing and a rehearsal. The event was managed by an event manager collaborating closely with client’s representatives, performers, technical support, hostesses etc. Prize game on Facebook started approximately 14 days prior the event. Participants in the prize game had to check at the McDonald’s web page, check the restaurant where they would like to taste Master burgers and enter their personal information and contacts. Over 1200 people participated in the prize game and we’ve withdrawn 140 of them. We’ve sent them personal invitations. On the day of their tasting restaurant’s personnel paid extra attention to them.

MEASURABLE RESULTS

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Wide and positive media coverage.

COMMUNICATION

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Slovenian media wrote about the event in a very positive connotation and social networks were full of live impressions from the Facebook prize games winners. It was a great promotional event for McDonald’s and its new premium Master Burgers line.

USE OF SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES

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McDonald’s has the ability to serve as a bridge to bring together groups to help create positive change for the entire industry, working globally and regionally.

Their sustainability reflects in the fields of food, sourcing, community, people, and planet. All those principles were conducted at the event since it took place at McDonald’s restaurant (community, people), served McDonald’s premium burgers (food, sourcing, people, planet) by McDonald’s personnel (community, people)…

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