We helped Nando’s grow from a handful of stores to over 200 through a clever mix of PR strategies that won the hearts of our target audience.
We needed to keep Nando’s top-of-mind while competing against fast food brands with far greater marketing budgets. We took a nimble, agile approach that we knew our competitors would struggle to match. We acted quickly to capitalise on stories that had the public’s attention and ran topical ads around such situations and events. These ads would require a very fast turnaround but often generated a fantastic bang for buck with the resulting PR.
Additionally, we created PR-able events like Nando’s Black Eyed Peas After Party which became a massive event packed with Australia’s A-list celebrities, generating enormous PR and providing proof of the feel-good nature of Nando’s. Importantly, events like this also helped the brand maintain its cool, subversive image at a time when it was growing fast and in danger of being perceived as just another fast-food chain.
We also weren’t afraid to do the occasional media stunt to gain extra attention. One of our most famous efforts saw us punk the prank king himself, Sacha Baron Cohen, at the Australian premiere of his film Bruno. The stunt generated over eight million dollars in global publicity within 48 hours, leading to a double-digit spike in sales that week. What’s more, it helped cement Nando’s reputation as the cheekiest brand in the fast-food market – and won fans around the world in the process.
To maintain the brand goodwill, we created and produced an anthem (“Hearts On Fire”) designed to raise awareness for United Against Malaria, a charity supported by Nando’s. The initiative was a big success with the song generating over 45,000 downloads, assisting in raising almost $250,000 for United Against Malaria.
Finally, to keep Nando’s popular with the right audience, we also arranged sponsorships that helped the brand stay cool by association. In fact, we were the first in Australia to introduce a franchise bricks-and-mortar food brand to music festivals through our partnerships with Stereosonic and Future Music – in the years that followed just about every food brand was trying to replicate our success.
In one 12-month period, we were able to generate over $10 million in PR while also keeping Nando’s relevant and part of the pop culture conversation. Overall, our work for Nando’s across PR and brand reputation played an important role in the brand growing from a handful of stores to over 230+.
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