Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chipping for Charity

Agency: Vitro Agency
Client: P.F. Chang’s

chipping for charity

Restaurant P.F. Chang’s gets two appearances a year from its contract with PGA pro Briny Baird. But they wanted more than the typical ho-hum meet and greet for the next appearance. They wanted to do something outrageous to generate buzz, so they put Baird on top of a skyscraper in downtown San Diego and had him hit golf balls at a target in the outfield of PETCO Park, home of the Padres.

He was 37 stories up and 270 yards away. Every time he hit the target money would be donated to his charity – The Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society. If he hit the bull’s-eye, everyone in America would get free lettuce wraps from P.F. Chang’s. During the event, two ESPN anchors talked about the ingredients in lettuce wraps, while sports reporters and local news anchors talked about which P.F. Chang’s dish was their favorite.

Both restaurant and website staff were prepped for the onslaught of consumers who would visit the site to join the CRM program, watch the event and download the free lettuce wrap coupon (with entrée purchase). A press announcement was also distributed, while a video of the stunt was posted on YouTube.

The event, which was covered by CNN, ESPN – on which it won shot of the week and play of the week -- and all the major networks, among dozens of other media, generated $1.35 million in sales in just two weeks as a direct result of the stunt. Over  300,000 new members were added to the CRM program, with whom P.F. Chang’s can now create ongoing relationships. Traffic to PFChangs.com doubled for more than a month following the stunt.

The campaign got an extra boost in July 2010 when Baird hit a hole in one at the Canadian open and said, jokingly, “So P.F. Chang’s chicken lettuce wraps for everyone?”