case studies

Christmas at Coppi and Il Pirata

Objective: Deck out Coppi and Il Pirata; two of Northern Ireland’s most celebrated Italian restaurants for Christmas in a way that is unique to their brand and enhances the already amazing dining experience for their guests during the festive season.

Strategy: For both restaurants Carlin Creative adopted ‘a less is more’ approach installing big set pieces of the highest quality to match a creative brief to supply both restaurants with a traditional theme for Christmas. For Coppi, we took inspiration from its dark mahogany panelled walls and green and white butchers’ tiles reminiscent of Belfast city’s industrial heritage and of Titanic days gone by. Wreaths from Irish designer, Paul Costello were sourced (among others) and customised to add dimension in a large space using burlap sack cloth and patterned ribbon and baubles which would not find themselves out of place a century ago. Red winter berries also formed a key part of the theme. For Il Pirata, a Narnia-style ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ feel which is on trend just right now with the £2.5m CS Lewis Square officially opening in East Belfast last month on the 53 rd anniversary of the writer’s death. Wooden tree decorations were selected to blend with the black and cream and teak of Il Pirata’s reclaimed floor; a beauty to behold in itself.

Outcome: Love and attention to detail has been heavily invested into both these restaurants on behalf of its owners and staff. Carlin Creative aimed to match that with beautiful décor bespoke and unique to both spaces. True to our own brand, we always try to add a touch or two to surprise and delight customers and guests. Look out for the tiny Christmas pasta shapes which adorn almost all of the decorations.

Channel 4 launch in Northern Ireland

Objective: Attract movers and shakers to a much talked about Channel 4 event in the UK Nations and Regions in keeping with the channel’s brand values, Creativity, Innovation and Diversity.

Strategy: In the spirit of devolution, launch the drama My Name is Joe to showcase content made by Channel 4 outside London. Do it. But do it differently. Come up with a compelling, unusual and socially infectious event experience that will get people talking.

Outcome: Hire of a Fifties Art Deco cinema from twin brothers and B-movie buffs Noel and Roy Spence who lovingly rebuilt the Tudor and Excelsior cinemas in their respective back yards deep in the Northern Ireland countryside near Comber in County Down.

Stuart Cosgrove

former Head of Channel 4 Nations and Regions

“This was a magical mystery tour if ever there was one. Guests were kept in the dark about where they were going until they arrived at this hidden gem of a venue, ornate in wall to wall red velvet, bedecked in B-movie posters and reminiscent of good old cinema days gone by. Channel 4 branded popcorn and refreshments were served the traditional way, from an ice-cream tray and out through a ticket hatch hole in the wall. The maverick and unique nature of the My Name is Joe screening was a break from the norm and got everyone talking. It was a perfect match for risk taking Channel 4.”

UK Premiere of ITV’s Oliver Twist

Objective: Launch United Film and Television’s high quality production of Oliver Twist for ITV in a VIP red carpet event in central London to cast, crew, media and broadcast industry opinion formers.

Strategy: Create an experiential event by immersing guests in the world of the quintessential Victorian author, Charles Dickens. Bring this epic story to life by hosting a premiere screening in the Strand Cinema in London followed by an after-show party which invited guests for a ‘real walk’ into a Dickens novel.

Outcome: Enchanted guests and opinion formers. Money can’t buy, positive word-of- mouth communications. The Lamb & Flag, of Covent Garden was the venue of choice. Dickens was known to be a frequent visitor to this hidden gem once called the Bucket of Blood dating back to 1623. Low ceilings, lack of daylight, period décor and an open fire contributed to the pubs old feel along with enchanting dark wood features.

John Willis

former CEO United Film and Television Productions Image@BAFTA/Ian Derry

“This event was visual story telling from beginning to end with the Lamb & Flag an inspired choice of venue. Guests made their way to this spit and sawdust pub through a cobblestone alley on Rose Street enabling them to travel back in time and immerse themselves in the life and times of Charles Dickens. From roasted chestnuts to mulled wine and cider everything about this occasion was customised to engage and delight guests and down to the finest detail. Even the modern glass chillers were dressed using enlarged black and white photographs taken from the Oliver Twist production. It was a clever way of branding the event and much more in keeping with the period. The invite, also in black and white, was built around Oliver’s famous saying: Please Sir. Can I have some more?”

UK Premiere of ITV’s Oliver Twist

Objective: As part of a year-long ‘In the Heart of the City (PR) Campaign’ campaign create a buzz around BBC Birmingham’s relocation from its iconic Pebble Mill Studios to the Mail Box in Birmingham City Centre.

Strategy: Launch Desi DNA, a brand new network television British Asian arts, entertainment and lifestyle show on BBC Two. Host a large scale event to match the style of the programme which focused on a new generation of Asians breaking the mould and seeking out the hottest in Asian clubs, fashion, music and lifestyle in the UK and abroad.

Outcome: A strategically planned, much talked about occasion with a wow factor. This was a dual purpose event, launching a fantastic new arts and lifestyle series while generating excitement around relocation to the Mail Box. The integrated experience delivered a ‘feel good’ emotional connection between the brand and the target audience.

Tommy Nagra

Senior BBC Television Executive, English Regions

“Desi DNA was the ideal choice of programme to launch our arrival to the Mailbox. It was right on trend and matched our audience profile perfectly. An Asian fusion restaurant next to our new building was the chosen venue and it was soon transformed into a unique and inspiring space. Every touch point, from the branding to the music, food and ambient lighting added to the experiential occasion. The event was seamlessly organised and attention paid to every single detail. Our guests loved it.”