Lending a helping hand to restaurants when they need it the most
Backakrogen (support your local restaurant) is a simple campaign created for difficult times. American Express donated its' entire ad space to restaurants, lending them a helping hand when they need it the most.
Small businesses everywhere are fighting for survival in the wake of Covid-19. The restaurant industry constitutes about 3 percent of Sweden’s GDP, but affects many other industries positively. They are among the hardest hit with national recommendations of social distancing, amassing a drop in revenue above 70 % in general. American Express is closely linked to the industry and tasked their agency with the assignment to do something to help an entire industry in dire need.
We built the solution based on the fact that American Express is one of Sweden’s largest ad buyers. By creating a system of nominating and participating freely in American Express’ already bought ad space, individual restaurants across the country could get a boost in exposure, reminding their loyal customers that they now need their help.
Restaurants could use the ad space freely and the specific ads was then shown to people in the proximity of the restaurants’ location, encouraging them to either visit them, get take-away or buy vouchers. Or simply help out in any number of creative ways, suggested by the restaurant.
We named the campaign “Backa krogen!” (support your local restaurant) and introduced it through PR outreach.
But more importantly, more than 1000 restaurants have joined the campaign and is currently getting exposure through American Express’ ad network. Naturally, this is by no means the solution to the crisis, but hopefully it can be of help to the restaurants we all love and would like to visit when this is all over.
To us, “Backa krogen!” is also part of a paradigm shift in marketing. This crisis has lowered the tolerance for “old school” advertising that relies on half-truths and hard-sells. This is an example of how the marketing budget can be used for actions instead of words. Resulting in the opposite of spam.
About three weeks into the campaign – American Express decided to do even more for the Swedish restaurant industry. They decided to pay for 10 000 meals, where people with Centurion, Platinum or SAS EuroBonus Elite cards were offered a personal code to make an order from any Swedish restaurant for up to 350SEK each, and pay nothing.
In total, this meant American Express supported the Swedish restaurant industry with an additional 3.5 million SEK. Read more about the 10 000 meals on Nöjesguiden.
POST created the concept and was responsible for the initial content and PR work. Together with photographer Jesper Zerman, Fredrik Sauter CEO for American Express in the Nordic Countries, Eternity Group and the restaurant Symbios, we managed to create appealing key visuals that created a snowball effect where restaurants uploaded videos that spoke directly to the end consumer, from the hearts of restaurant owners and workers.