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Nando’s steals world’s biggest mango!

Australian Franchise News – 04-03-14


How do you launch big new taste to Australians? If you are Nando’s and its agency Banjo, you steal the world’s biggest mango.

Late last year Nando’s approached its advertising agency partner, Banjo, to help them come up with a big idea to launch its zesty new Mango and Lime flavour which would become a permanent fixture on the restaurants’ PERi-ometre in the new year. Mango and Lime was developed for people who prefer Nando’s milder PERi-PERi flavours and for existing Nando’s customers who like to keep things interesting.

Leveraging the Aussie love of ‘big things,’ Nando’s and Banjo created a stunt that intrigued the public, engaged the media and built awareness and trial of the new flavour.

On Monday 24th March, residents of Bowen in North Queensland awoke to find that the three storey high Big Mango tourist attraction had gone missing. Within hours, social and news media were in a frenzy, speculating about its whereabouts.

This was amplified by security camera footage – created for the campaign – which captured glimpses of a huge crane and hooded figures headed toward the Big Mango in the early hours of the morning.

The Big Mango was removed between midnight and 5am on the morning in a pre-planned raid with a team of engineers and three mobile cranes with lifting capacities ranging from 20 to 60 tonnes working together.

Special harnesses and slings helped ensure the iconic tourist attraction that is visited by over 40,000 people a year was we well looked after throughout the epic operation.

The missing Mango, which weighs around 10 tonnes, also gained immediate traction across social media becoming one of the top trending topics across Australia, where it soon became known as ‘Mango Gate’.

The Bowen’s Big Mango Facebook page launched that morning and grew to 5000 and reached 500,000 people within 24 hours. The disappearance of the Big Mango was also shared by Tourism Queensland to its 1.1million Facebook followers. Total reach across Nando’s combined social channels was in the millions. Its theft
was even tweeted about by WA Premier, Colin Barnett.

Bowen Tourism Chairman, Paul McLaughlin, who was involved in the project from its inception and integral to its success, fielded hundreds of media enquiries from Australia and overseas.

The story generated extensive media coverage across local and national media, as well as international news in Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden, the UK, Japan and the US.

On Tuesday 25th February, Nando’s revealed that it was behind ‘Mango Gate’ and released footage of the move, attracting over 270,000 views and appearing in the popular section of YouTube’s homepage. This prompted a second round of media coverage.
The following day, Nando’s announced that they had ‘borrowed’ the Big Mango to promote their new flavour, Mango and Lime, and that a replica Big Mango, along with a giant lime, would be on display in Melbourne’s Federation Square on Thursday morning.

This event, promoted across social media and radio, also included product sampling and attracted hundreds of Nando’s fans and curious punters.

And finally, on Friday 28th February, Nando’s returned the mango and reinstalled it whilst Bowen locals, who had for the most part been incredibly supportive and good humoured about the heist, looked on whilst a team of Nando’s staff handed out bottles of PERi-PERi sauce.

Appearing on the weekend edition of Sunrise, Marketing expert, Jane Caro, said she liked the stunt and that it was great for Nando’s, great for Bowen and great for mangoes.

Here are some of the most popular memes and responses the campaign generated on social