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©2019 by Ryan Parker.

GATHER 'ROUND THE FAMILY

Olive Garden Never-ending Family Table

When Olive Garden asks you to get people excited about some new offerings and the comfort food movement, you find the biggest table around and invite the whole family... they're a passionate bunch.

STRATEGY

In a culinary world in which most are vilifying calories and touting health consciousness, Olive Garden embraces their place within food culture and community as a respite for a bountiful supply of comfort food capable of uniting any family around the table. They challenged us to create a buzz worthy PR moment to celebrate their comfort food position and introduction of new flavorful menu items.
Recognizing tension as the greatest ingredient to powerful storytelling, we sought to learn from the Olive Garden community. What we found was an avid OG loving community in need of a unifying place for the family in a modern, always connected world.
So we created the Olive Garden Never-ending Family Table as a metaphor for the endless bounty and familial community that is at the heart of the brand. We launched the campaign and tested the communal power of the Olive Garden table amongst the busiest yet most media friendly place on earth, NYC.

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EXPERIENTIAL

The Olive Garden ‘Never Ending Family Table’ kicked off on the High Line in New York City and in Piedmont Park in Atlanta, GA. The love of friends and family was brought to life with a constantly expanding communal table of nearly 300' feet through the historic Chelsea Market Passage. Heightened complexities included “open to the public” foot traffic and logistics, NYC/High Line permitting, and food preparation and service in an outdoor setting.


3,256 people seated and 5,600 standing. Nearly 20,000 samples distributed to happy eaters.


Social: 589,073 total impressions from live event, 435 hashtag images shared, 8,016 likes and 359 comments.


Media pickup of more than 13 national outlets including Good Morning America, The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post and Buzzfeed.

WHAT WAS MY ROLE?

  • Directed research and insight team's efforts and synthesized their learnings to direct creative hypothesis.

  • Developed a brand audit including current business situation, competitive activity, audience attitudes and behaviors informed by social listening review.

  • Authored a concise creative brief as a synthesization of all inputs such as client brief, insights and brand audit.

  • Led ideation process comprising of a cross-functional team of creatives, producers and digital strategists.

  • Led and produced the articulation of strategy and execution plan, including the development of all concept creative visuals and communications.

  • Part of the pitch team responsible for concept review.

  • Oversight of program execution of strategic vision, communications, content creation, and engagement / environment design.

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