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An epic event for Buffalo Wild Wings to celebrate the 2020 Olympics.

This work was chosen as the winner of the 2020 VCU Brandcenter Sprint

MY ROLE 

Experiential Marketing, Illustration, Visual Design, Brainstorming, Prototyping

TOOLKIT

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Procreate, Keynote

CHALLENGE

Make B-Dubs top of mind during the Olympics without talking about the Olympics at all.

We were asked to make Buffalo Wild Wings the most legendary place to celebrate the 2020 Summer Olympics. Due to licensing restrictions, they can't use the word “Olympics” or any words associated with it in any marketing materials.

OPPORTUNITY

National Chicken Wing Day falls on July 29th, which is right in the middle of the 2020 Olympics. 

As a celebration of this holiday, Buffalo Wild Wings will create a wing eating competition that immediately evokes the Olympics. They can freely market their competition without using any of the forbidden words.

SOLUTION

A Summer 2020 event that mimics the traditions of the Olympics, but uses National Chicken Wing day as a cover up to bypass any mention of the Olympics.

THE EVENT

What's the biggest event of Summer 2020?

No, it’s not the Olympics, it’s the Ultimate Blazin’ Championship.

Competitions. A torch relay. Medals. Chicken wings. Hype.

And we’re carrying a giant flaming buffalo chicken wing from city to city.

 

The Blazin’ Beacon is kind of like the Olympic torch, but better because it’s a chicken wing. The beacon and the buffalo travel to 6 cities between Olympia and Cleveland, picking up a Blazin’ Championship semi-finalist at each stop along the way.

This summer we’re traveling across the country in a giant buffalo car.

 

The Olympic torch relay begins in Olympia, Greece; so naturally, we’re starting ours at the Buffalo Wild Wings location in Olympia, WA. Our instantly-iconic Buffalo Mobile will then travel all the way across the country to the OG Buffalo Wild Wings location in Cleveland, OH.

And lighting a fire-breathing buffalo head.

 

No, it’s not the Olympic Cauldron, it’s better. It’s a buffalo head that we light upon arrival in Cleveland, signaling the official start of National Chicken Wing Day. It roars, breathes fire, and looks really, really cool.

All in order to find America’s Ultimate Blazin’ Champion.

 

National Chicken Wing Day falls on July 29th, which is right in the middle of the Summer Olympics.  As a celebration, Buffalo Wild Wings can create a Summer 2020 event of its own, reflecting the traditions of the Olympics.

 

THE PROCESS

 

BACKGROUND

Buffalo Wild Wings exists to inspire legendary experiences. 

It’s where you get together with friends, watch sports, drink beer, and of course, eat wings. 

Buffalo Wild Wings is all about running wild with the herd. Fans are pack animals—they need other fans. Watching a game at home simply doesn’t compare to the rowdiness of an arena or sports bar, where fans thrive off the energy of other. Buffalo Wild Wings believes that everything is better when there’s a little competition involved and they bring that philosophy to everything they do.

Buffalo Wild Wings is known for their Blazin’ Challenge which involves eating 12 of their spiciest wings in just 6 minutes. Competitors need to sign a waiver before attempting this challenge because at 350,000 Scoville units, the Blazin' sauce is 60 times hotter than jalapeño peppers.

MARKETING

We created an own-able event around the Olympics that lives within the Buffalo Wild Wings brand.

HEADLINES

The goal of the event is to garner attention for Buffalo Wild Wings during the Olympic season. We created several headlines to pitch our idea with the kind of headlines we would expect to see during Summer 2020.

SOCIAL

Buffalo Wild Wings has a huge loyal following of real followers on their social accounts. We wanted to leverage this in our communication plan when it came to getting the word out about the event.

BRAND TOUCHPOINTS

Because Buffalo Wild Wings has such a loud visual language we felt that it would be necessary for our event to show up in the same loud way.

Bronze, Silver, and Gold chicken wing medals for finalists in the Ultimate Blazin' Championship.

Outfits that Ultimate Blazin' Championship contestants will wear while competing.

Coasters to promote the event and get people interested to sign up to compete.

Table top signage to promote the event and get people interested to sign up to compete.

Map on the Buffalo Wild Wings website to follow the Buffalo Mobile and see where it's headed next on the Blazin' Trail Across America.

The Buffalo Mobile's route along the Blazin' Trail from Olympia, WA to Columbus, OH.

 

SPRINT SCHEDULE

A four day sprint where our team set progress goals, hit milestones and invited feedback.

DAY 1 |

BRIEF

2:30 PM  Brief from Buffalo Wild Wings and The Martin Agency

 

3-8 PM  Initial ideating and research​

DAY 2 |

DESIGN THINKING

9 AM  Ideating and brainstorm

2 PM  Conducting idea rake

3 PM  Meeting with mentors at The Martin Agency

6 PM  Dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings for inspiration/research

DAY 3 |

DESIGN THINKING

9 AM  Developing final concept

 

2 PM  Sticky notes and ideating

3 PM  Check-in with on-site mentor

4 PM  Creating assets

DAY 4 |

EXECUTE

9 AM  Further developing idea

 

10 AM  Creating assets for final presentation

2 PM  Creating Deck

7 PM  Presentation Practice

DAY 1 

Our day started at 2:30 when we were briefed by the Buffalo Wild Wings team from the Martin Agency. We broke out into a working group where we did individual research about the brand and the Olympics. We brought our findings together in an initial brainstorming session.

DAY 2

We picked up the next day at 9 am where our strategist Madison threw out several insights that she gathered from the research we had done the day before. We found that National Chicken Wing Day occurs during the Olympics.

We came up with wild ideas and wrote them up on the board. We didn’t censor ourselves and threw everything up on the board. We then went back through the list and crossed off the ideas we didn’t think would work. We circled the ones we liked and unpacked them more.

We landed on six different concepts and presented them to our mentors at The Martin Agency that afternoon. We were given the green light to explore some of our concepts deeper.

For inspiration we decided to have some wings at Buffalo Wild Wings that evening.

DAY 3

We met up again at 9 am and were torn between two ideas.

We consulted our on-site mentor and he suggested we explore both of them more in-depth and make a decision when we had a more robust vision of what the final product would look like. We broke into smaller teams and built out both ideas. At noon we decided on one concept and moved forward with final execution for the rest of the afternoon.

At the end of the day we invited feedback from our mentors at The Martin Agency.

 

 

DAY 4

We spent our final day creating assets for the pitch and finalizing the deck. The afternoon was spent rehearsing the presentation.

 

Our team after we were awarded the 1st place prize with the judges from The Martin Agency and Buffalo Wild Wings.

 

Pictured from left to right: Jeff Baker (VP, Markeing & Advertising at Buffalo Wild Wings), Mareya Stearns, Madison McCracken, Danny Robinson (Chief Client Officer, The Martin Agency), Melissa Poe, Sam Pieterzak, Jerry Hoak (Exectutive Creative Director, The Martin Agency), Louis Boehling, and Rachel Curry.

TEAM

RACHEL CURRY, Copywriter

MADISON McCRACKEN, Strategist

MAREYA STEARNS, Experience Designer

LOUIS BOEHLING, Experience Designer

SAM PIETERZAK, Experience Designer

MELISSA POE, Experience Designer