Soho East Pet
Ice Cream Festival
CLIENT: K. Wah
In Hong Kong, it’s difficult to walk more than a few paces without passing a food stall, noodle shop or restaurant. Finding a bite to eat is never a problem here, which is good news for hungry locals. However, this abundance of options can pose a real problem for eateries in out-of-the-way locations.
This was part of the problem facing K. Wah Group, owner of Soho East – an F&B enclave along the north-eastern shore of Hong Kong Island. Despite a picturesque location and a nice mix of cafes, restaurants and pubs along the waterfront, Soho East was suffering from low foot traffic, especially during weekdays.
Keen to boost visitor numbers at Soho East to help drive business for the area’s F&B establishments, K. Wah Group turned to RFI Daylight for help.
We visited Soho East to gain a first-hand understanding of the neighbourhood and the challenge. We found plenty of welcoming spots for an alfresco meal or a drink with friends while enjoying the sea breeze. We also saw plenty of people out for a jog or walking their dog along the waterfront. What we didn’t see was a lot of patrons.
The people walking their dogs got us thinking: Hong Kong is full of doting pet owners who love their dogs, cats and more, but it is not a very pet-friendly place – especially when it comes to dogs. Dog ownership is prohibited in Hong Kong’s public housing, and places where dogs and their owners can enjoy the outdoors away from crowded city streets are few and far between, unlike the city’s ubiquitous eateries.
Our insight: with its pleasant waterfront vibe and many F&B outlets offering pet-friendly outdoor seating areas, Soho East is a great environment for dog owners. By homing in on this unique trait, we could differentiate Soho East from Hong Kong’s countless competing F&B destinations and make it worth the journey despite its out-of-the-way location.
Inspired by our insight, we developed a strategy to position Soho East as a destination for dog owners to enjoy a meal and a day out with their families – pooches included.
To promote this positioning in a newsworthy way, we proposed a special dog-focused event to draw pet owners to the area and show them what Soho East has to offer.
Hong Kong can be unbearably hot in the summer, so we conceptualised the Soho East Pet Ice Cream Festival as opportunity for families and their dogs to enjoy an ice cream and cooling sea breezes at Soho East. To make this event as much about the canine visitors as their human companions, we collaborated with a local ice cream vendor to create pet-friendly flavors that are healthy and delicious to our canine companions.
This Pet Ice Cream Festival was promoted on Soho East’s Facebook by specifically targeting pet owners, inviting them to bring their pets over two weeks and enjoy free pet ice cream coupons redeemable on the spot.
Foot traffic to Soho East saw a dramatic increase during the promotion period, with many tenants along the waterfront strip reporting record double-digit spikes in F&B revenue. For entire afternoons outside tables were fully occupied by pets and their human companions, forming a grand sight along the shore.