Cannes Lions

Jewel Stool

THE MARTIN AGENCY, Richmond / BUFFALO WILD WINGS / 2019

Awards:

1 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
Case Film
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Buffalo Wild Wings was once a great American sports bar, but over the years they became just another generic chain restaurant. Tame and domesticated.

New leadership wanted to reassert the brand as a legit, authentic American sports bar. But in order for this to be believable, we needed to demonstrate a deep understanding of fandom and prove that we truly understood all the nuances of rowdy sports fans. There was no better time to prove this than during the greatest basketball event of all time: March Madness. An epic three-week long event, where 64 college basketball teams compete for a national championship.

There are many unique fan behaviors during this tournament — like office brackets and sneaking in the games during work. But they all seemed fairly obvious to us. We needed to go one level deeper to prove our authenticity and demonstrate we get die-hard fans.

Idea

We designed and fabricated custom barstools for vasectomy patients to recover in the bar rather than at home. It’s called the Jewel Stool. Why? Because vasectomies spike by 30% during March Madness. You heard that correctly. Guys schedule the procedure at the beginning of March Madness because they need an excuse to sit on the couch and binge-watch the tournament for a few days. It’s a crazy but true fact about die-hard sports fans.

Each stool was strapped with everything they needed to recover and watch the games the right way. A strategically placed “jewel cooler” that ices down their undercarriage, a 20-minute timer to make sure they don’t get freezer burn, a cooling cup holder, and a “beer me” sign and button to alert bartenders they’re thirsty without ever having to get up. After all, they’re supposed to be seated and relaxed.

Strategy

Buffalo Wild Wings wanted to reassert itself as a legit, authentic sports bar — a place for fanimals to get wild. But in order for this to be believable, we needed to demonstrate a deep understanding of fandom and walk the walk. Obviously, generic fans truths would only perpetuate our problem. We needed observations about fan behavior that only true sports would get. There was no better time to prove we understood fanhood that during the greatest basketball tournament of all time — March Madness.

March Madness is an epic sporting event, where 64 college basketball teams compete over three weeks. There are many unique fan behaviors during this tournament — like office brackets or watching the games secretly at work. But they all seemed fairly obvious to us. We needed to go one level deeper to prove our authenticity and demonstrate we get die-hard fans.

Execution

The core execution was the stools themselves. We designed and fabricated five custom-made Jewel Stools. Each came equipped with a cooling mechanism on the seat (the jeweler cooler), a 20-minute timer, a cooling cup holder, and a “beer me” button and light.

Two stools were sent to the BWW Times Square location, two were sent to the BWW Los Angeles location and one was sent to Barstool Sports headquarters. They were available to the public throughout the entire tournament (March 21 – April 8).

We also made a film to promote the Jewel Stool, which was posted online, and created a “medical brochure” to be available at urologists’ offices surrounding the LA and NYC locations.

Outcome

We earned 305.7 million media impressions, with many notable publications applauding Buffalo Wild Wings for their deep understanding of fandom, like ESPN, New York Post, GQ and more. As Forbes said, “There's a beautiful truth behind this effort that gives Buffalo wild wings authenticity in the March Madness culture.”

But the result we’re most proud of is this. We had a significant increase in YoY sales during the launch weekend. This is unprecedented, considering Buffalo Wild Wings has had consecutive quarters of decline prior to this March Madness initiative.

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