Max Hamburgare Promo, Case study VATALICIOUS by McCann Stockholm

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Industry Fast food
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Sweden
Agency McCann Stockholm
Director Lars Ohlin, Joel Nordström
Art Director Patrik Reuterskiöld, Cecilia Dufils, Peter Eriksson
Copywriter Markus Bjurman
Producer Ylva Axell
Released April 2013

Credits & Description

Advertiser: MAX BURGERS
Category: Best Integrated Campaign Led by PR
Advertising campaign: VATALICIOUS
Copywriter: Markus Bjurman (McCann Stockholm)
Director: Lars Ohlin (RBG6)
Art Director: Peter Eriksson (McCann Stockholm)
Producer: Ylva Axell (Aspekt)
Art Director: Cecilia Dufils (McCann Stockholm)
Account Director: Emma Pernald (McCann Stockholm)
Original Artwork: Daniel Köpman (McCann Stockholm)
Director: Joel Nordström (RBG6)
Account Manager: Jonna Liljedahl (McCann Stockholm)
Art Director: Patrik Reuterskiöld (McCann Stockholm)

Campaign Description
How do you make a VAT reduction taste delicious? From January 1st 2012 the Swedish government reduced the restaurant VAT. For Max Hamburger chain this was a great opportunity to get more costumers and at the same time generate goodwill to the brand by creating new jobs for the youth.Max communicated this message to politicians and the public, via their own and earned communication channels they got out saying – we have lowered all our prices, we are giving back the entire reduction to our costumers, and we are creating job opportunities. This made Max and its CEO, Richard Bergfors, into a role model on how to act after the VAT reduction. It also positioned Max as a positive force within the Swedish community – a company who actually wanted to help out with the unemployment situation amongst younger people. The same people who are a great part of their main target group. This was most successful. When the VAT reduction came into effect, January 1st 2012, Max launched the “VATalicious” campaign to let everyone know that the reduced VAT “tasted delicious”.Up to June 2012 the campaign generated an estimated PR-value of 20.1 million SEK. Max increased their sales with 9%, which created 200 new fulltime jobs, and their associations to “low price” and “affordable” increased several points.

Max’s VATalicious campaign generated an estimated PR-value of 20.1 million SEK. Top-of-mind ad-awareness increased by 5%, while in-mind-awareness increased by 14%. Sales increased by 9%, which was 35% better than for the industry as a whole.The ambitious goals set was not only exceeded, they went large! The sales target of 6% was exceeded by 50%. Top-of-mind was exceeded by 66%, and in-mind by 68%.Within the target audience the associations to “low price” increased for Max more than any other brand attribute during 2012. Max increased their associations to “affordable”, and “price-value” was one variable that drove the improved brand relationship to Max during 2012.The “VATalicious” campaign became Max’s most talked about campaign and the phrase spread across social media. Even Sweden’s Minister of Commerce, Annie Lööf, quoted the campaign on her blog.

Client Brief Or Objective
The objectives of the campaign were to create a positive buzz around the reduced VAT, to urge the rest of the restaurant business to follow their lead and reduce their prices equal to the VAT reduction, and also to create media coverage with PR implementations. This was to be communicated to the consumers mostly throughout media coverage Max’s well-defined role model position hopefully would generate. By successfully doing this Max could show other restaurants that it was possible to lower their prices, get an increase in sales, and be able to hire more employees – helping the unemployed youth.

Initially Max’ CEO, Richard Bergfors, wrote debate articles stating he would be able to recruit 200 people during 2012. Max’s initiative to urge the restaurant business to lower their prices and hire more staff was welcomed by consumers, politicians and the media. By becoming the role model for the restaurant business CEO Bergfors got mentioned and interviewed a lot in both national and local press. This had impact on the consumers, who started to get enhanced positive associations to Max as a brand.With a humoristic campaign Max shaped the impression that their price reduction was greater than it actually was, getting higher costumer satisfaction, which created buzz around the campaign; and let everyone know how delicious Max’s hamburgers taste.

Once the VAT reduction was a fact, January 1st 2012, Max launched their “VATalicious” campaign. To reach the consumers a humoristic campaign playing on the word VAT (Swedish word: moms) was created. The word “moms” looks and sounds very much alike the Swedish word “mums” (English word: yummie). The somewhat dorky Swedish saying “mums filibabba” meaning that something is “very yummie” (delicious) was therefore very suitable to transform into “moms filibabba” (VATalicious, but with a much better sound to it).January 1st 2012 Max launched the “VATalicious” campaign, which aired on TV, radio, social-media, and as ads in magazines, creating buzz around the reduced VAT and their new low prices.

When the Swedish Government started to discuss a restaurant VAT reduction Max Hamburger restaurants understood that this would benefit them, not only by an increase in sales but it could also create job opportunities and generate goodwill to the brand.Due to the fact that Max’s costumers are located all across Sweden Max needed to communicate throughout nationwide media. The PR goals was therefore to let the politicians know how the VAT reduction was helping creating new jobs, and to communicate all its the benefits to the consumers.