Catching fish (and customers) with smartphones

How do you invite potential diners to a new sushi concept before it opens? We used the hoarding as a way of engaging potential customers by creating a fishing game that used QR codes and their smartphones to offer rewards to lucky anglers.

In the weeks leading up to a new destination opening there is usually a single constant, the site hoarding. In the case of a new restaurant, the people that walk past this hoarding the most have the potential to be repeat customers. So how do we attract their attention in a meaningful way?

We wondered if we could create a game that rewards passers by with an opening night offer if they win. A simple premise that led us to the idea of fishing with phones. It also led us to QR codes. While they are ugly looking and generally used as an afterthought, they are usually there to take users to a single thing, a website a photo or video. We turned this on its head by plastering the hoarding with hundreds of them, each one linked to a node in our database and only a few golden ticket winners among them. This meant we could monitor scanning activity and move the winning fishes to different places in the shoal without moving the physical codes. All passers by had to do, was scan a fish to see if they had “caught" a winner or if their particular catch was the one that got away.

Given that we had hundreds of fish and only one hoarding, we could release a few into the wild, placed on pavements, park benches, bins and poster sites, these fish out of water turned soho into additional parts of the game and a visual link to the site.

A few weeks and many hundreds of scans later a rather large group of successful fishermen (and fisherwomen) turned up at the launch to claim their tasty catch.

The results

Fully subscribed email signup list for opening night and queues around the store

Fully subscribed email signup list for opening night and queues around the store

Additional press and online coverage

Additional press and online coverage

Showcased by globally operating mobile platform operators

Showcased by globally operating mobile platform operators