Workbench And Denny Create Impactful Brand Campaign That Supports Local Eateries


Denny Mushrooms wanted to show their solidarity with the restaurant industry and at the same time raise awareness around mushrooms as a delicious and healthy ingredient. The company tasked Workbench with creating a campaign in a very short space of time against the marketing objective.

Workbench conceptualised the Denny Support your Local initiative, which called out to communities to support their local eatery during the Covid-19 pandemic. Allied to the campaign was communicating to the restaurants to get them to register a crowdfunding account and register on the microsite,, which is still open for contribution. In four weeks, 123 restaurants registered on the microsite. There are now over 37,700 visits to the microsite, 12,711 total votes and the ROI on awareness is: 1:10

The question was: how do you take a limited budget and timeframe and turn it into an impactful brand campaign that not only does good for the brand but also does good for the brand’s clients and the community at large?

The call to action and the awareness campaign was delivered in terms of encouraging the general public to vote for their favourite eatery and help raise funds. Denny committed to giving the restaurant with the most votes R10,000 and a three-month supply of mushrooms.

Michael Cook, Managing Director of Workbench, said, ‘These unprecedented times have made all brands relook at their strategies and spend. Gone are the days of bulky agencies who theorise more than making things happen. Creativity has always been about being resourceful with what you have, and letting constraint push you further and faster.’

Martin Sing, Head of Planning at Workbench, said, ‘Together, with creative partners – Twiga Communications, No Menumedia specialists, The Squad and 1cstm – the campaign was synchronised in such a way that it achieved way more than expected, and added to CSI projects already implemented by Denny Mushrooms. The beauty of the initiative is that it lives on beyond the campaign timeframe. It will continue to provide awareness and an avenue for communities to support their local eatery, which is great.’

Samantha McChesney, Denny Mushrooms Marketing Director, said it was important that the Denny brand stood up and was counted in the crisis. ‘Even though our business was under pressure, the Workbench team found a way to achieve our brand objectives as well as provide a platform that tastefully and genuinely helped restaurants. The feedback has been wonderful.’