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From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

The Gondola Getaway

Gold Honor in Event & Experiential

Entered in Brand Awareness Campaign


Fiorucci is technically a nationally distributed, premium Italian meat brand that faces two main challenges we had to overcome. 

Its first and biggest challenge is that the Fiorucci brand has low awareness and a much smaller marketing budget vs. the category leaders – Boar’s Head, Columbus Meats & Carando. The second challenge was that the category overall (premium packaged Italian deli meats) was often seen by consumers in the broader packaged deli meat category, which doesn’t have the same premium perception by consumers.

We needed to build upon the brand campaign, Savor Every Minute, which we launched in 2021 when we took over a Dallas trolley and turned it into a premium Trattoria. Our team was asked to create a bigger, more premium event & experience that more target Fiorucci consumers could experience and use that experience to create social and digital ads to boost Fiorucci brand awareness and sales in key markets during their key Q4 holiday season

In addition, our event, experience and online content needed to elevate the perception of the category, to lift the perception of Italian meats beyond special occasions to being something worthy of an everyday, refined option that is far away above your ordinary deli meat.

Strategy and Execution

Our campaign was based on an evolution of real truth that was impacting the Fiorucci’ “Crowd Pleaser” audience. Their perception was that either time or food quality had to be sacrificed in order to create a snack, meal or gathering for friends and family that was worthy of being shared. We knew we had a sweet spot to showcase that Fiorucci took the time for you, using authentic old-world recipes and time to produce and curate amazing food worthy of the spotlight. From deeper research, that truth evolved and it became obvious that they don’t spend enough time or make an effort to spend quality time together at all. On average, our crowd pleasers hadn’t been on a date or night out in 3 years. OUCH.

So, Fiorucci Foods wanted to create a swoon-worthy event to reunite couples, friends, and families by bringing a slice of Italy to Long Beach, California in the Fiorucci Gondola Getaway. Oh, and it was FREE for all!

We converted a cold and gray parking garage, that was right on the canals of Long Beach, into a vibrant, breathtaking Italian garden. It was transformed from floor to ceiling with floral displays and endless Fiorucci charcuterie.  

On the water, we offered noon-till-night Italian gondola rides filled with personal charcuterie trays, wine and custom-created Fiorucci conversation starter cards that empowered riders to Savor Every Minute with each other over beautiful scenery and Fiorucci’s delicious Italian meats.  Oh, and did we mention each gondolier was a trained singer who serenaded our guests throughout their rides. 

At the party on shore, attendees discovered one of the world’s largest Fiorucci charcuterie spreads, along with live custom-poetry (and poem-in-a-bottle!) station from influencer partners ArsPoetica; an Airstream bar from Last Call Barcatering; a one-of-a-kind charcuterie cone wall from Graze Los Angeles, and more.  

To promote the event and to drive RSVPs for our limited and exclusive gondola rides, we seeded SoCal media with a customized event listing, used a teaser video and targeted social ads and worked with local event influencers to get the word out. 

Our social media team and a hand-selected group of Los Angeles and Orange County based social media influencers were posting LIVE from the event, engaging with each and every fan who posted & tagged the brand online that day.

From on-the-dock interviews to production chase boats, we filmed the entire event, turning it into a series of targeted paid social media campaign videos and static ads that celebrated the idea of making time to spend time together and to Savor Every Minute.

But that’s not all. We know that most fans couldn’t attend the Gondola Getaway, so we created “Date Night” kits that brought that date night magic directly into the homes of our fans. Using nationally reaching influencers on TikTok and Instagram, we let them unbox and promote the Date Night kits that were used as social media content and giveaways between the time the event wrapped up and when media went live.


The campaign results were judged on four key criteria.

First, it was important that the event touched as many people as possible. With 6 local event articles earning 2 million earned media (PR) impressions, we were able to sell out our reservations in under 12 hours, and we had over 450 total people attend the event - that’s more than we could give gondola rides to.

Secondly, Fiorucci’s social content and influencers needed to kick start and sustain the campaign before any media went live. Creating content LIVE from the event and from our DATE NIGHT extensions, our combined content earned over 2.67 million views, with less than a $40k total budget.

Third, the event couldn’t just be a set moment in time. We had to convert the content we gathered there into relevant social and digital ads that would run during Fiorucci’s peak Q4 holiday season. Despite budget cuts to media due to rising material costs, we were able to serve over 13.6 million campaign impressions and drive 6.4 million video views in strategically selected priority markets.

Finally, the campaign needed to begin to move product at the retail level and drive brand awareness for Fiorucci against much bigger and more established competitors. And the campaign did just that. In our select media markets, Fiorucci saw an 8.4% sales lift in their most important retail channel and a 2% lift in overall brand awareness, vs. a 1% goal, with less than $120k spent on digital and social media.



Video for The Gondola Getaway

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Heart & Soul Marketing, Fiorucci Foods


Entry Credits