In a quiet year with no outstanding product launches, German kitchen appliances brand NEFF, part of the Bosch Siemens Group, tasked us with coming up with a global PR campaign that would give local markets an exciting reason to engage with media during a key moment on the cultural agenda. EuroCucina, the biennal International Kitchen Exhibition, sees top media from all over the world gathering at Salone del Mobile in Milan to be inspired by the latest trends in kitchen equipment. Exhibitors compete to show off their latest innovations in the hopes that attending media will feature them in product round-ups.
In the absence of product news, we needed to invent some other news that would help NEFF appeal to those trend-hungry journalists. Our strategy was to turn our apparent vulnerablity into our biggest strength and not talk about products at all. Instead, we leaned into the theme of the 22nd edition of EuroCucina, which explored the evolution of the kitchen from a functional space, to a social one, where conviviality and the quality of experiences trump performance. We thought this couldn't be closer to what our audience of passionate foodies cares about: they like to discover food on their own terms and don't care about getting a recipe right. For them, cooking is not about the end result, it's about enjoying the journey, it's not about getting in right, it's about inviting conversation.
In this spirit, we teamed up with Oxford university professor Charles Spence and looked into the different elements that impact the way we perceive flavour. We then co-opted ceramicist Reiko Kaneko to turn his ground-breaking research into a unique plate collection, proving that the shape, colour and even weight of our crockery can alter taste perception.
During the EuroCucina tradeshow, whilst our competitors were busy showing off the latest technology, we provided journalists with a well deserved respite from the information overload. We sat them at the table and asked them to taste food that was served in our flavour-boosting plates, really demonstrating that passion for cooking that sits at the core of NEFF. The coverage rolled out (here's an example) and due to popular demand, the plates were made available to purchase across the world.