Cannes Lions

The Brake Room

McCANN, New York / CHICK-FIL-A / 2023

Awards:

1 Silver Cannes Lions
1 Bronze Cannes Lions
3 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Background

The food delivery industry has exploded over the past few years, but this has come at the cost of one group of people; food delivery workers. Third-party delivery apps continue growing and consumers increasingly rely on them, with the people making these deliveries left to fend for themselves.

They lack access to basic human rights — restrooms, warmth and a place to rest during the day. It’s dangerous, back-breaking work often in horrible weather conditions. And that’s on top of routine indignities, like not being appreciated or even acknowledged.

These conditions are compounded by the fact that thousands of immigrants, many of whom don’t speak English, make up the food delivery community — unfortunately exposing them to further mistreatment.

Chick-fil-A relies on delivery workers, and they deserve the same level of care the brand shows to everyone else, so we set out to make them feel seen, acknowledged and appreciated.

Idea

The Brake Room is a first-of-its-kind rest station dedicated to food delivery workers. In an effort to set the standard for the rest of the category and even local government, everything from design to amenities — put the needs of the workers first. The space gave them a comfortable place to rest, use the restroom, grab coffee/snacks, charge their phones and connect with fellow drivers at no cost to them. To show them gratitude, the space was equipped with a live, digital display featuring thank you messages from the city.

We celebrated them through photography, ultimately making them feel seen and appreciated, and featured graphics on the walls inclusive of non-English readers. The design, typography and decoration of the space draws inspiration from NYC to give this activation a sense of locality and belonging. To capture this audience, we sought to consider every aspect of their experience physically, emotionally

Strategy

Given that food delivery workers felt invisible, building The Brake Room around their feedback, opinions and insights became our top priority. Through various ethnographies, interviews and focus groups across gender, ethnicity and age, we sought to understand their experience. We heard countless stories of delivery workers being banned from using restrooms, standing under scaffolding or bridges to eat lunch, and restaurants/apps who prioritized food over their safety.

These insights drove our PR strategy of leading the message through action. To truly demonstrate Chick-fil-A’s care authentically towards food delivery workers (and subsequently, consumers), we needed to respond to their plight with real-life action. Our message of care for delivery workers isn’t meant to end with delivery workers. This activation also seeks to bring awareness of this issue to the general public. By doing so, we inspired everyone to treat delivery workers with the respect and dignity they deserve.

Execution

To get the word out about The Brake Room, we used multiple OOH and digital units to alert food delivery workers and the general public about our launch. Wallscapes, bus shelters and taxi cab tops spread awareness as delivery workers weaved through city streets. Additionally, we pushed our message through third-party delivery apps, who sent messages and emails to their delivery workers to inform them of The Brake Room.

Lastly, we knew that delivery workers tend to be an insular group that is slow to trust. But once our space launched, word-of-mouth spread and they came in numbers, thankful that they now had somewhere to go in between deliveries.

Outcome

After the first delivery workers visited, word of mouth spread. The Brake Room was full of delivery workers taking lunch breaks with friends, resting, charging their phones and taking coffee breaks.

99% of food delivery workers said they felt cared for.

100% said The Brake Room met their needs as food delivery workers.

Word continues spreading like wildfire. We’ve received over 1.8 Billion earned media impressions, $10.5 Million in earned media and 99.9% positive sentiment - unbelievable for Chick-fil-A. We made it into the opening monologue of Jimmy Fallon and every major news outlet, solidifying our mark on culture and public awareness beyond the delivery audience. Additionally, the New York Times spent time in our space, documenting its impact. And Grubhub, a major food delivery app, followed our lead with plans for their own rest station for delivery workers.

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