Citi for the fourth year of its Taste of the Nation co-sponsorship capitalized on consumers’ passion for photographing food they eat. The event series, which benefits the No Kid Hungry campaign by the nonprofit Share Our Strength, visited New York City on April 18 at the Brooklyn Expo Center and involved about 70 local food, wine and mixology experts setting up shop to share a signature dish or drink for attendees. It’s that essence of the event experience that led Citi to launch “Share a pic, share a meal” this year, a social currency effort tied to the charity.
“There are two things we see attendees doing at these events—tasting food and posting pictures,” says Jennifer Breithaupt, global consumer cmo at Citi. “Through this, we saw a simple way to engage attendees and chefs to spread awareness of the issue of childhood hunger while at the events by offering them a way to transform their social posts into meals for kids in need.”
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At Taste of the Nation events, attendees are encouraged to post a pic of their favorite dishes or drinks on social along with the hashtag #CitiGiving and the vendor’s specific hashtag displayed at their booths. For every post with the event hashtag, Citi is donating a meal to No Kid Hungry. And, towards the end of the event, Citi announces a winning restaurant, calculated through tallying social posts and monitoring the buzz and chatter on the floor. Citi committed to donating 10,000 meals to No Kid Hungry in that restaurant’s name.
This traveling event series will head to Washington D.C., Miami, L.A. and Chicago, and caters to Citi cardmembers first and foremost. They’re able to purchase tickets in advance through Citi’s website, get an expedited check-in, and are given a food and beverage tray that helps them hold a wine or cocktail glass while eating. Cardmembers also receive a lanyard to enter the VIP lounge, a 30-foot by 30-foot space located close to the stage (for better views) with a branded step-and-repeat photo activation by a professional photographer. Attendees have the option of having those photos printed on top of a cocktail in the form of a layer of sugar and served to them. The pics are then posted to a video wall behind the VIP space and served as pieces within a social mosaic. The lounge also includes charging stations, comfy seating and a walled-garden motif.
But back to the social media: Citi for a second year added live music to the event, which also helped with amplifying the event. Each musician—X Ambassadors in New York City, Caitlyn Smith in D.C., Betty Who in Miami, The Shadowboxers in Chicago and the X Ambassadors again in Los Angeles—are encouraged to post on social to help promote the No Kid Hungry campaign across their social media followings.
It’s “a way to create additional surround sound, promote ticket sales and elevate the experience at Taste of the Nation events. By capitalizing on the artists’ social media reach, we are able to raise even more awareness for the No Kid Hungry campaign,” Breithaupt says. Agency: MAC Presents, New York City.