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Time Out surprises readers in a creative partnership for film, ‘The Menu'

Time Out and Searchlight Pictures have partnered to promote new film, The Menu, starring Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult.

Time Out surprises readers in a creative partnership for film, ‘The Menu'
Rob Biagioni: “We love creating unique, fun and highly creative content partnerships and doing things differently.”

The film, in cinemas in the UK from 18 November 2022, is a satirical thriller which, say the publishers, “hilariously skewers ostentatious displays of wealth and contemporary restaurant culture”.

In this partnership, Time Out’s Creative Solutions team has developed a tongue-in-cheek campaign to spread word of mouth, drive visits to the film’s content hub and encourage people to go and see the darkly-comic film. For the creative collaboration, Time Out has created digital features as well as supporting social and display activity:

  • To build viral momentum, a spoof Time Out article has announced London’s craziest new fine-dining experience, Hawthorn. The article is spiced with key dishes and language from the film and peppered with image assets which build up to a reveal at the end to show that fine dining culture has reached such a lavish level where we actually believe it is real.
  • On Time Out London’s Instagram, a spoof carousel highlights “5 reasons we’re DYING to try out London’s bougiest restaurant”. Film clues, lines and imagery are used including the rules of The Menu’s gastronomic establishment, Hawthorn ie. ‘you cannot eat, you can only taste’ / ‘the restaurant that never reveals its recipes’ / ‘the restaurant that doesn’t allow you to leave your seat’. Both the feature and carousel end with a link to book your table, which goes through to the film’s content hub, followed by a message underneath which reveals that if readers are intrigued by this restaurant, then they should see the film.
  • A second digital feature unveils the prank in more detail. The feature outlines the reasons why the film inspired a spoof restaurant opening - the key satirical twists from the film’s synopsis - and links to the film’s content hub to drive engagement and encourage cinema ticket sales.
  • A Roadblock, high-impact digital display take-over is running on Time Out London’s website
  • A third digital feature, which will go live on Monday (21st November), outlines the many reasons why people should watch the film.

Rob Biagioni, Time Out Managing Director, Sales UK, explains why it got behind London’s spoof bougiest restaurant opening: “We love creating unique, fun and highly creative content partnerships and doing things differently — there are simply no other brands which could do something like this. The film and the brief allow us to be brave and have fun. Creating a spoof campaign has enabled us to break through the noise for our partner! Time Out’s social channels and digital pages are devoured by curious, entertainment-hungry readers. This is a great example of how editorial and commercial can collaborate in incredibly fun ways — and we are thrilled to have found a partner in Searchlight to work on such a unique campaign.”

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