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Chef National Promotion

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Touchwood PR was tasked with spearheading a multi-faceted PR campaign to launch the theatrical release of CHEF, a film that has since achieved cult-like status amongst foodies and film lovers alike.

Chef National Promotion

Working closely with the Canadian distributor on the media buying strategy for the film, Touchwood PR sought to:

  • Weave strategic partnerships (media and retail) into the marketing mix to extend the overall reach of the campaign through print, broadcast, radio, online and social;
  • Engage music press to promote the soundtrack;
  • Generate additional buzz prior to release through an extensive national screening program.  

We were successful in developing two fully integrated promotional campaigns that encompassed publicity, traditional paid media, earned promotional media and social outreach.  In addition, we worked with the record label and HMV on a standalone promotion.  Each partner effectively communicated contest details to their consumer base in an equitable manner.  Here are details on the partnerships:

1. Food TV, HomeSense and VVS Films
Concept: To Celebrate the release of CHEF, Win a trip to visit the set of a Food TV Canada show.
Food Network Canada produced spots ran on their network, driving viewers to the CHEF contest microsite housed on FoodNetwork.ca.  HomeSense ran an in-store and online campaign that featured window clings, in-store posters, display signage; and 40,000 postcards with details of the promotion were used as bag-stuffers through HomeSense’s 80 stores nationally.  HomeSense offered $500 gift cards as secondary prizing, and all promotional collateral in their stores drove their customers to the FoodNetwork.com entry site.  This resulted in over 16,000 entries for the contest.

2. Canada.com, Louisiana Tourism, Gastropost, Gusto TV, Air Canada Vacations, Lands End, VVS Films & Street Food App
Concept: To celebrate CHEF, Enter to win a trip for two to New Orleans.
This contest was communicated through:

  • Canada.com;
  • Gusto TV who produced promotional spot;
  • 175 independent Food Truck operators from coast-to-coast who supported this promotion by distributing 40,000 postcards, running social media contests for screening tickets and pledging to wear CHEF branded aprons during operating hours. Promotional kits featuring contest details, social handles, postcards, and aprons were sent to each participating food truck vendor to help them promote the film and contest.

The contest microsite was housed at Canada.com and generated over 70,000 entries. This initiative was recognized internally at Postmedia as one of their most successful and outstanding integrated campaigns of 2014.

A sample of press we received for the promotion can be seen on Breakfast Television Toronto.

3. HMV produced a contest awarding soundtracks and screening tickets through their purehmv membership database (1,000,000 members across Canada), online and through social.


A sold-out screening program was executed nationally that spanned eight key cities across Canada, tying in local media, film and music lovers and food bloggers (in partnership with Postmedia’s award-winning Gastropost).

The combined results of our efforts ensured extremely positive word-of-mouth and extensive social media activity.