Posted by retroviral

The Donald Burger
The sensational growth and success of the RocoMamas brand – both in South Africa and in key international markets – has seen the franchise grow from three to 50 stores in a matter of 18 months. Based on the brand’s growth trajectory, the decision was made to appoint Retroviral as its lead creative agency in the second half of 2016, due to a symbiotic relationship in terms of ideation and communication approach.

For its first campaign for the brand, Retroviral recently collaborated with Tribeca Public Relations to launch the irreverent RocoMamas #ElectionBurger campaign that saw the burger chain’s sales increase 20% year-on-year, making it the most successful campaign in the brand’s three-year history.

Conceptualised by Retroviral, the six week #ElectionBurger campaign was launched at a media, influencer and RocoMamas fan event where guests were introduced to the three official burger contenders on the campaign trail – #TheDonald, #TheHillBill, and #TheJoker.

Communication of the #ElectionBurger campaign was primarily driven through digital media, public relations and of course, positive word of mouth. The nature of these communication channels made it easy for RocoMamas to measure its return on investment: not only did #ElectionBurger trend nationally on Twitter within two hours of the launch, the RocoMamas Facebook page grew by 20 000 fans in just six weeks.

RocoMamas fans voted for their favourite burger candidate by posting a photo of their burger of choice on Twitter or Instagram, along with the hashtag assigned to it. The campaign yielded 14 million ‘opportunities to see’ on Twitter over its six weeks, with the thousands of votes on both platforms, RocoMamas’ reputation as the most Instagrammed burger in South Africa was further cemented.

Interest in the brand exploded. The number of unique visitors to the RocoMamas website hit 57,000 unique visitors – a 70% increase year-on-year. And it wasn’t only local burger fans who voted by visiting branded pages and sites. The #ElectionBurger was such hot property that it made global news on BBC World, Ads of the World, and made it onto the front page of, which is read by 200 million people each month.

Beating its competitors from the get go, #TheJoker burger’s final tally of Instagram and Twitter votes as well as total sales during the campaign saw it win the hearts and minds of RocoMamas’ voters far and wide. #TheDonald came a close second, with #TheHillBill bringing up the rear (foreshadowing what was to come in the US election results).

“Both agencies played to each other’s strengths,” says Mike Sharman, co-founder of Retroviral. “Together we drove the #ElectionBurger social conversation, developed content, and managed media interviews, influencer engagement and burger tastings. Everything was perfectly timed to coincide with the results of the US elections which culminated in the announcement of the #TheJoker as the campaign winner. A sign of the times!”

“The success of the RocoMamas #ElectionBurger campaign proves that combining the best use of social media with traditional public relations achieves powerful, measurable results for a brand,” says Nicky James, co-owner of Tribeca Public Relations.

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