The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Hard Rock Cafe X Messi Kids Menu

Entered in Food & Beverage, Launch Campaign, Multi-Platform Partnership


Our initiative centered on the launch of the Messi Kids Menu at Hard Rock Cafe, leveraging Lionel Messi's star power and our brand's appeal to achieve specific objectives. We aimed to raise awareness of the new menu among our target audience and sustain engagement, particularly among parents. To accomplish this, we collaborated with young influencers to create captivating content and hosted an exclusive event at Hard Rock Stadium, where guests had the opportunity to meet Messi in person. This event not only generated buzz, but also gave them a memorable experience, reinforcing our brand's allure.

We also kept in mind the growing popularity of soccer, particularly with Messi's entry in Miami, to amplify our campaign's impact. By aligning with this cultural trend, we aimed to solidify Hard Rock Cafe as the premier destination for families seeking quality dining experiences.

In summary, our goals for the Messi Kids Menu Campaign were multifaceted: to raise awareness, sustain engagement, and capitalize on the cultural zeitgeist surrounding soccer and Messi's presence in Miami.


Bringing the Messi Kids Menu Campaign to Life: A Journey of Innovation and Engagement

At the heart of Hard Rock Cafe’s Messi Kids Menu Campaign was a singular vision: to create an unforgettable dining experience celebrating soccer and the legendary Lionel Messi. Our ambitious plan involved a multi-faceted approach blending interactive experiences with the global appeal of one of the greatest footballers of all time.

The campaign kicked off with a creative spark, as we launched interactive videos that featured children answering questions about Lionel Messi. Their innocence and playful humor not only captivated audiences, but also set the tone for a heartwarming campaign.

Capitalizing on Messi joining Inter Miami, the campaign's pinnacle event was A Day With Messi in Miami, which forged bonds with local soccer fans. This meet-and-greet offered attendees the chance to participate in soccer drills led by Messi himself, a once-in-a-lifetime experience for everyone involved. By inviting Miami locals to play soccer with the man himself, we leveraged this unique moment in Messi's career to deepen our campaign's local engagement and relevance.

Understanding the power of social proof, we invited influencers - particularly young soccer fans - to try the new menu. The content they captured on the day, and their subsequent posts, showcased the excitement and family-friendly atmosphere of Hard Rock Cafe, amplifying our impact.

Beyond the launch, we collaborated with influencers, focusing on showcasing the dining experience through the eyes of families. This ongoing sustained effort helped maintain momentum and interest in the campaign, highlighting the menu's appeal to children and adults alike.

Challenges and Overcoming Them

Orchestrating a high-profile event in Miami with a global icon like Messi presented logistical challenges, from security to scheduling. By working closely with Messi's team and local authorities, we ensured a seamless experience for the star and his fans.

Crafting a campaign that was both creative and aligned with Hard Rock Cafe's brand ethos required a delicate balance. However, by focusing on family, fun, and the love of soccer, we struck a chord with our audience while still staying true to our brand.

Capturing the attention of young fans in a crowded digital landscape was also challenging. We leveraged excitement around Messi and interactive content to create standout moments that captivated our target demographic.

Uniqueness of the Work

The Messi Kids Menu Campaign stands out because of its innovative integration of celebrity influence, interactive content, and family engagement, all while capitalizing on a significant local moment. In curating the campaign’s menu, we sought to add a personal touch that would resonate on an emotional level. The "Messi Golden Chicken Sandwich" wasn’t just a product; it was a narrative, drawing inspiration from the "Messi Chicken Sandwich," and echoing Messi's mother’s Milanesa chicken recipe. This homage to childhood favorites created an authentic connection, infusing the campaign with a sense of nostalgia. This sentimentality elevates the campaign, linking Messi's footballing legacy to the simplicity and warmth of family meals, making him even more relatable and relevant to our brand offering.


The Messi Kids Menu Campaign achieved significant success, surpassing objectives in various key areas.

Initially, the campaign resulted in an impressive 20% year-on-year boost in Kids’ Meals sales, with standout items like the "Messi X Burger" and "Messi Golden Chicken Sandwich" contributing significantly to this growth. This reflects robust consumer interest and approval of these themed menu items.

Impressively, global PR and social impressions exceeded 3 billion, showcasing the campaign's vast reach and the high level of public engagement it garnered. This level of exposure highlights the campaign's effectiveness in not only capturing, but retaining the target audience's attention.

The campaign's social media strategy resulted in over 27.7 million organic social impressions and more than 2.7 million engagements, significantly expanding Hard Rock Cafe's digital footprint. Additionally, the campaign attracted over 5.7K new social followers, further evidence of its appeal and success in engaging with and captivating a broader audience.

Overall, the Messi Kids Menu Campaign's ability to drive sales, generate global awareness, and engage audiences across social platforms confirms its success, demonstrating innovative marketing strategies and effective brand-influencer collaborations.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Hard Rock Cafe


Entry Credits