AO Chef Series

The brief

On behalf of Tennis Australia, Zenith asked us to amplify the Australian Open (AO) Chef Series, a week-long activation running during the Australian Open (2018), combining two of Melbourne’s greatest loves: food and sport. Our brief included the positioning of the AO Chef Series as an exclusive and premium dining experience, presented by Australian Open.

Chefs from regional Victoria, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and London would present at separate ticketed dining events, with 60-70 people per evening dining session, with ticket prices ranging from $300-$500. Our chefs would present their signature menus as set offerings, with degustation style experiences and matched wines, while sharing stories of the dishes. Each event in the AO Chef Series would be hosted at The Glasshouse.

The idea

To use native content to introduce and appropriately position the AO Chefs Series, and ultimately drive ticket purchase through our food lovers/high disposable income audience segments in Melbourne.

Our core idea leveraged our audience’s hunger for foodie exploration and culinary adventure. We would promote the idea that the Australian Open does not only bring the world’s best tennis players to Melbourne … but also the world’s best chefs.

Underpinned by native content, we would introduce and go behind the scenes of the AO Chef Series with a suite off on- and off-platform media, and serve up more than our fair share of ace tennis puns.

The execution

Time Out native content
Our native campaign commenced with this introduction to the AO Chef Series. Once the Time Out audience had orientated with the concept, we went behind the scenes at the AO Chef Series with Alejandro Saravia.

High Impact Takeover Display
The content campaign was supported with takeovers of the Time Out Melbourne homepage, Things To Do homepage, further facilitating bookings.

Solus newsletter
67,000+ engaged recipients received a solus newsletter (our premier newsletter product), resulting in 12,000+ opens and 2,600+ clicks.

Newsletter branded content
Both native pieces were pushed through premium tiles in our weekly newsletter, at relevant intervals.

An on-platform Time Out Competition received over 2,700 entries, well over our average, proving strong engagement with this concept.

Sponsored Posts reached over 164,000 people.

Time Out says...

As with any Time Out product, a deep understanding of audience behaviour combined with long-held industry relationships informed our strategy for this execution.

What’s more, our audience’s aspirations were already well aligned with the AO Chef Series, and so leveraging a deep understanding of the Time Out audience was the key to the success of this campaign.

This was a successful campaign overall, with the competition receiving more than 3x the average competition entry rate and both native content executions seeing above-average dwell time.

December-January traditionally sees a peak of media activity across Australia, and despite the AO Chef Series falling into that window, our campaign still managed to cut through the noise.

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