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When the public perceives your offerings as high end, costly, and your business as a special-day destination rather than everyday, their perception is key to growth.

Reserve Wine and Food, a gastro-pub in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids had established their brand around the quality of food and modern surroundings. While representative of great things the reputation transitioned into the notion that the restaurant was too high-end, unapproachable, and a bit pretentious for the market. Our client needed a campaign that understood the pain points and addressed them head on.

  • Discovery

    When first meeting with Reserve in 2014, we learned of their existing marketing efforts. With a small campaign using broadcast media and a single billboard, the strategy was yielding few results. Their goals were, and continued to be the promotion of an extensive menu while increasing patrons, particularly at lunch. It was decided that the campaign would begin in September, to coincide with the Grand Rapids ArtPrize festival and its tremendous increase in the volume of potential customers around the restaurant.

  • Challenge/Goals

    • Overcome perceived notions of pretention
    • Establish location as a lunch destination
    • Increase patronage during all meal periods


Creative Development

Focusing on photography and display, the MLive team was able to source the images directly for the client which helped shape the direction and success of the campaign. The ability to have a creative director taking the photos also sped up the process overall and created a holistic vision across every creative element.

The creative team picked to areas to attack that aligned with the goals of the client;  a Lunch Campaign, positioning Reserve as a place for a well-priced, quality lunch and a Pretentious Campaign, aimed at changing negative perceptions and driving dinner sales. Both campaigns garnered positive results.

Responsive Rich Media

Through hovers or clicks, the ad interacts with customers. This display captures the customer’s attention through a bold design that urges them to view the expandable advertisement in its entirety. The expanded version of this display sends the message that Reserve is a restaurant that can (and should) be visited outside of the traditional meal times — there is no set time to enjoy quality food and wine.


Creative Remessaging

We chose one creative element from each side of the campaign to reach our audience in the form of a remessage. Remessaging refers to a creative element that is served to a unique visitor who showed a high level of interaction with the original message. Serving this engaged customer with an additional message increases the likelihood that they will eventually convert.


Audience Targeting

Zip code and latitude/longitude targeting was our choice for this campaign. By targeting the 49503 zip code and two mile radius surrounding the restaurant, we were able to serve the ads to their target audience, rather than targeting the general population at random.


Content Marketing

Over the 12 months of the campaign we worked with the client incorporate sponsored content into their overall marketing strategy. Content marketing is a great product or service because the best way to sell your product or service is by not “selling” at all.  Instead of always asking your customers to buy, you can become a resource for them, by sharing valuable information or just somethign fun. This is exactly what we did for Reserve.  


A byproduct of content marketing can be growth to your social channels.  Without direct efforts to their channels facebook saw a 8.2% growth in likes.

Overall Campaign Results

Total Sales Growth

7:1 return on investment

16% growth in sales from previous year

Total Headcount Growth

18/day – Lunch | 12.5/day – dinner

5,347  year over year growth

Site Growth