Building Buzz IRL: j /wata temaki bar
How we used social, ads and email marketing to help deliver a grand Grand Opening.
In preparation for Chef Junya Watanabe’s most recent restaurant opening, j / wata temaki bar, we used a coordinated advertising, social and email campaign which helped drive awareness and anticipation. The result? Three sold out grand opening weekends!

Coast Creative was tapped to help create hype and buzz around the opening of j / wata Temaki Bar in the Convoy District of San Diego.

The client’s goal was to create so much genuine anticipation and excitement for the new opening, that they would experience a “line out of the door” upon opening. To achieve their goal, we used mouth-watering visuals (which if you are familiar with Chef Junya, was easy to come by) plus enticing/exclusive offers targeted and curated for a very specific audience.

The success of our strategy hinged largely on our ability to identify and reach potential customers who lived, worked and played in the geographic area, as well as those who frequented similar restaurants to j / wata.

Our team created highly targeted digital advertisements that promoted the special grand opening invitation. The ad images were targeted for a social media audience that values great presentation and unique experiences.

And, because Facebook allows us to dig in and identify an audience that has spent money at similar restaurants in the area, we knew we were targeting likely future customers.

On social, j / wata had been on a slow-growth plan in the weeks preceding. We used stylized a 9-square-grid to tease early adopters of the brand, but started active posting as the opening neared. We used those same ad photos to entice followers to RSVP and share the grand opening.

In addition to digital ads and social media, Coast Creative ran a comprehensive email campaign that 1) Reminded respondents of their RSVP a few days prior to the grand opening and again on the day of the event and 2) Allowed participants to share the offer with friends and family. At that point, our attendees are doing the promotions for us!

This email campaign earned a 70%+ open rate, which is almost unheard of in the restaurant industry.  In addition, over 2,000 email addresses were captured during the course of the opening campaign. The success was two fold:  j /wata benefitted from the immediate email campaign and can continue to use these emails for future promotions.

The Takeaway: j / wata Temaki Bar wanted lines out the door. And that’s what they got! For three grand opening weekends, this 22-seat sushi restaurant saw consistent traffic and great word-of-mouth promotion. Never underestimate the results a coordinated social, advertising and email campaign can yield.