Mellow Mushroom isn’t just any pizza restaurant, it is the pizza restaurant. It’s where high-quality food meets high-quality experience. They don’t just serve unique gourmet pizza, but also a variety of delicious entrees, appetizers, desserts, cocktails, and craft beer, all expertly deployed by a genuinely friendly staff. The ambiance of each restaurant is entirely unique but stays within the frame of the franchise brand – groovy, psychedelic, fun. It’s a place you leave happy, hoping you can return soon.
A group comprised of owners of five Mellow Mushroom stores in Texas came to us in search of a fresh creative campaign. These stores already did very well with customers once they got them in the door, but they needed help with additional awareness and visibility within their community. We knew that the campaign needed to distinguish Mellow Mushroom from other dining options in a fun and informal way (as per the brand vocabulary) while still making some discovery points about the experience of eating there. We set out to develop a message that fully embraced the idea of enjoying and appreciating the quality of the food and its preparation (as opposed to attempting competitive pricing or expedience), with the goal of driving trial of what Mellow Mushroom refers to as a “feast for the senses.”
Enter, the PizZen social media campaign. PizZen was designed to match Mellow’s established informal tone with a joyful, pizza-embracing calmness and zen mindset. We wanted to convey that feeling you get when you walk into Mellow Mushroom: that it is an adventure, a journey, and a destination all in one. It is something you hear about but you don’t really understand until you’re there. Clever copy and a combination of live images and memorable design pieces lead the charge.
But the campaign wasn’t just about promoting swoon-worthy pictures and videos of the best pizza you will ever put in your mouth. There was an added layer of establishing a communication strategy and infrastructure for the clients’ multiple locations (something we’ve had plenty of practice with, thanks to Little Guys Movers). We worked to train social media managers and develop a content plan that was focused on telling a compelling story about each individual store’s unique identity and place within its respective community. We knew that this push for consistent, organic content would increase awareness and help to shape the local brand identity.
Across all five stores, the average cost per engagement in this campaign was nearly 80% lower than average for Facebook. PizZen also allowed us to develop a reliable strategy for promoting in-store events and day-parted advertising to a newly engaged, well-targeted, and receptive audience. Plus, the work is just really cool.