Firing Up MAC’s New Café and Restaurant: KILN


Nothing beats a great café and restaurant… except a BRAND NEW café and restaurant! Thank goodness for Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) who were kind enough to give us the latter.

Since 2018, MAC has undergone a widespread capital investment project, Making MAC More, supported by Arts Council England and the People’s Postcode Lottery through the Postcode Culture Trust, which encapsulated the refurbishment of their café and restaurant: KILN

MAC needed a win (no, we’re not talking about the People’s Postcode Lottery). MAC needed a PR team to help spread the word about this new, socially cohesive space that welcomes everyone with delicious food and drinks.

Big Cat were more than up for this challenge!

Turning Instinct into Action

Why settle for one story when two can be so much better? Whilst we started out with the idea of promoting reservation lines being open, we wanted to make sure that our PR coverage was hitting all of the marks. To do so, we devised two releases: one for business readers and one for consumers.

But of course, at Big Cat Agency, we are nothing if not behavioural science led. Whilst writing a story is all well and good, sometimes a picture tells a thousand words. As consumers are more likely to remember pictures than text (and considering how delicious everything looks at KILN) we recruited the help of Tom Cullen at I Choose Birmingham. Using the Picture Superiority Effect, Tom helped share the first glimpse of the fantastic food on offer, including pizzas with slow-fermented sourdough bread, decadent cakes baked freshly on-site and a range of vegetarian options on KILN’s seasonal menus. Hungry yet?!

The launch was a huge success but we weren’t finished there.

After basking in the widespread print, online and broadcast coverage, including BBC WM Radio, Birmingham Living, Birmingham Live and What’s On Birmingham, we set about promoting Big Cat’s very own, newest invention for KILN: The Picasso Pizza.

The Picasso Pizza capitalises on one of the brand’s USPs (i.e. KILN’s Pizza Oven) and creates an idea which not only leaves everyone's hungry bellies feeling full, but provides a fun-filled activity that the whole family can enjoy together. The Picasso Pizza gives children an opportunity to craft their own pizza right at their table, have the professional chefs bake it up and then enjoy it with merriment! 

We just had to spread the word. 

We invited top regional influencers to experience the Picasso Pizzas with their kids and share their creations on social media. We’ve created a huge PR buzz and KILN has since sold 214 Picasso Pizzas (and counting!) since opening.

To bring in the corporate world, we also offered a fabulous deal to subscribers of The PA Guide. This opportunity showed KILN off as a great space for meetings, hires and events, all in exchange for a simple cake and coffee!

We are so excited to have seen such fantastic results already from the pre-launch, launch and post-launch of KILN and can’t wait to see how every bite feeds back into MAC in the future. Flame on!

We were so excited to bring MAC back!...

“Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) has been a mainstay of my culture fix for well over a decade, and an institution I have always wanted to work with. I am both personally and professionally obsessed with the hospitality sector, so winning the opportunity to launch KILN was a dream, particularly as the food & drink offer was being headed up by Carl Finn. Deborah, Evie and the rest of the brilliant team at MAC and KILN have been a joy to work with - open to ideas, clear on their goals and utterly committed to the campaign’s success.”

Our partnership with Big Cat has been exceptionally positive - their campaign to introduce our new café and restaurant KILN to our local community was expertly delivered and with huge success. Their team has been very supportive to our in-house team and took the time to understand and appreciate the needs of MAC as an arts charity and the importance of our new café as an important commercial venture.

Their pitch was inventive and innovative – we’ve taken on board a number of their ideas, including Picasso Pizzas for our young art explorers and a Pizza Box Decorating competition for teens. Proud to collaborate with this fabulous Birmingham based organisation that has really captured the heart of MAC in their campaign.”

Deborah Kermode, CEO and Artistic Director, MAC


65 Pieces of coverage

Across print, digital, broadcast and social platforms

17.5M People reached

During campaign period

127k Social media reach
8478 Landing page traffic

“We were thoroughly impressed with Big Cat’s pitch for the launch of MAC’s new café and restaurant, KILN. Working with their team on our reopening campaign not only allowed us to communicate our new venue, safety measures and digital infrastructure to existing audiences but reach a whole host of new audiences to engage with MAC.

“Big Cat has helped us manage our brand awareness, design a successful strategy for the launch and into the future, liaise with media and create an effective PR approach. The team are a joy to work with, and their skills, expertise and industry knowledge have been very valuable to our organisation.”

Evie Kissack, PR and Communications Manager, MAC

Does reaching over 17 million people sound like something your business needs? Give us a call on 0121 200 0910 or visit our contact page today!

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