Cook more. Live better.

An innovative physical experience promoting brand awareness & connecting home cooks across the
country with Plated.

As a leader in the rapidly growing "meal kit" market, Plated brings ready to cook, exciting recipes right to customers doorsteps.  Plated's commitment to seasonal, organic ingredients and a sustainable sourcing methodology sets them apart from the competition as the most responsible (and delicious) way to get people back into their kitchens. 

As a direct to consumer business,  Plated offers incredible value and convenience to plan subscribers, but the absence of brick-and-mortar stores means that the new customer acquisition process must rely heavily on digital marketing initiatives and word of mouth to help explain the product offerings.  To address this, Plated approached MTWO with a plan to develop a nationwide "Road to Discovery" tour that would introduce the Plated experience to potential new customers with a tangible, physical asset that could be easily transported between nine major market destinations spanning the country from San Francisco to New York City.

Working directly with Plated's internal marketing and strategy teams, along with agency partners, MTWO managed the complete user-experience and design process for the tour, resulting in an elevated and unique physical design within a short timeframe.

The final activation enjoyed close to 98 million press/media impressions over the course of just 17 days.

"The thinking is to do an experiential and immersive cooking journey, and expose our target customers to our standards and food quality in a way that the computer just can't do."

Stage 1, Research & Design Goals/ User Experience Planning / Platform Selection 

We knew from the start that Plated definitely needed a solution that could be transported easily, but it was essential to immerse ourselves into their DNA to understand just what kind of physical platform would best translate their brand values.  DISCOVERY, AUTHENTICITY and ACCESSIBILITY became the core principals of our design brief and we proposed several initial "user-flow maps" to help visualize a preview of the experience and identify the right starting point.

We determined that sensory interactions explaining the "flavors" of Plated would be key and, of course, exposing the digital product (and capturing new users) was essential.  For an effective social-media impact, the experience had to be bold, unexpected and create a buzz not just at each tour location, but also en-route between them.  Finally, we placed a very high value on ensuring that critical tour sponsors like San Pellegrino, MasterCard, DeLonghi, McCormick Spices, Food & Wine Magazine and No Kid Hungry could be integrated directly into the physical experience in a way that maintained the integrity of the design.

Ultimately, we selected a 31' vintage 1972 Airstream Sovereign.  This selection read as authentic, unique and highly approachable compared to stock options like a food-truck or container-trailer design.  The Airstream also offered an aesthetic with inherent, iconic appeal that would draw visitors to it anywhere it was deployed and promote "shareability."

Stage 2, Physical Design Concept & Fabrication

Because of timeline demands it was important to began the design process even before the Airstream arrived at the West Coast based fabrication facility for restoration. Working with photographs and measurements from vintage documentation, we were able to construct a highly accurate 3D model of the base Airstream. We used this model as a digital "test platform" and blocked out all physical components of the design and even tested the positioning of the Airstream and its supporting assets in a variety of potential tour-destinations to guarantee a good fit with the venues.

After finalizing the layout, we built out our CAD model and produced renderings exploring material options, tow vehicles, sponsor product integration, graphics, signage and even individual décor elements. Working with the 3D data we developed allowed the fabricator to begin the restoration and prep process for the Airstream in parallel with the custom design elements, saving substantial time for Plated. Our renderings also helped Plated communicate value-add to their sponsors and assist agency partners with logistics, media planning and more.

Stage 3, Design Development & Fabrication

Dimensioned design control drawings, 3D assembly instructions, material notes and site deployment plans supplemented our CAD models.  A comprehensive “manufacturing guide” served as an unambiguous resource for the fabricators and greatly streamlined the build.  With production well underway, we continued to consult with Plated and built additional physical tour collateral including a “recipe stand”, tent designs and tow-vehicle graphic templates.

Result. The finished Airstream was delivered on the West Coast for the San Francisco launch of the “Road to Discovery Tour” on-time and was an immediate success.  Social media impressions measured in the millions over the following weeks and helped build awareness on a national scope while enjoying considerable local media coverage in the nine major markets visited.  The tour wrapped up in New York, Plated’s home base.


The finished product

Watch how Plated used the MTWO designed Airstream to offer a one-of-a-kind experience to home cooks across the country!

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