La Comida

Case Study

la-comida-case-study
Background
Michael and Jenna Morton of the Morton Group hired Wicked Creative to help launch La Comida, their first Mexican restaurant and first property in the burgeoning Fremont East District of Downtown Las Vegas.

Michael, the co-founder of N9NE Group and son of Morton’s Steakhouse founder, Arnie Morton, along with his wife, Jenna, sought to establish a restaurant that would embrace the artistic renaissance sweeping the streets of downtown’s Fremont East District while providing an attractive dining destination for locals looking for an alternative to the Strip. La Comida would become the first contemporary dining concept to open in the neighborhood, where a trendy bar scene had taken root.

Objectives
Generate positive press coverage for the opening of La Comida on a local, regional and national platform by highlighting its significance in the rebirth of Downtown Las Vegas
Generate national press coverage highlighting the Morton’s involvement and commitment to the growth of Downtown Las Vegas
Engage culinary media with descriptions and photos of the authentic food, drinks and unique décor of La Comida
Promote La Comida’s involvement with the City of Las Vegas and local partners, such as Zappos

Strategy
Wicked Creative began building buzz for La Comida by strategically securing placements in prominent local and national media about the Mortons’ project in Downtown Las Vegas. As details were confirmed, assets including a lead release, the menu, chef biography and fact sheet were made available to build interest. Wicked Creative worked closely with the Mortons to develop a set of key messages consistent in all printed and spoken material.

A massive grand opening party was planned to introduce La Comida to Downtown Las Vegas in April 2013. Wicked Creative secured appearances by Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Councilman Bob Coffin and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, among others, for the event to strengthen the message of community partnership. A select list of media, business partners and VIPs were sent an e-vite to celebrate the grand opening with passed appetizers and complimentary cocktails along with a cultural dance performance by children from the After School All-Stars. The Mortons, Mayor Goodman and Mr. Hsieh participated in a unique alternative to a ribbon-cutting ceremony by collectively smashing a piñata, custom-made to replicate the restaurant’s whimsical dancing monkey icon, to symbolize La Comida bursting onto the scene in Downtown Las Vegas.

Wicked Creative followed-up the event with targeted pitches to local and national media covering new restaurants, Mexican cuisine, interior design, the chef, Michael and Jenna Morton, and more.

Results
More than 200 guests attended the grand opening celebration, which was broadcast on local CBS, NBC and ABC affiliates. Wicked Creative secured placements promoting La Comida’s Downtown Las Vegas opening in prominent regional, national and international media including La Presse, New York Post, AskMen.com, Forbes.com, LATimes.com and Thrillist.com.

Local media response was overwhelming and featured numerous items and feature stories in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas Weekly, LUXURY Las Vegas, Vegas Seven Magazine and Eater Vegas. In total, Wicked Creative generated more than $1.2 million in publicity value for La Comida in a span of less than four months.

In addition, the results produced by Wicked Creative led the Morton Group to expand the firm’s role to handle public relations for La Cave Wine and Food Hideaway at Wynn Las Vegas and the launch of the new CRUSH, eat, drink, love at MGM Grand.

Since taking on both projects in late 2013, Wicked Creative has secured placements for La Cave and/or CRUSH in USA Today, US Weekly, Calgary Herald and New York Daily News, among others.

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