CREATING A BRAND FROM SCRATCH SINGLE-HANDEDLY: KASAPDONER
Awards & Recognition: KasapDoner became #1 brand in its category, surpassing global brands like McDonald’s and Burger King.
AT SOME POINT I STARTED MY OWN BUSINESS AND KASAPDONER WAS MY FIRST CLIENT. AS MY ONLY EMPLOYEE, I WORE MANY HATS FOR THIS PROJECT: CREATIVE DIRECTOR, COPYWRITER, ART DIRECTOR, STRATEGIST, ACCOUNT DIRECTOR. WHILE I WAS AT IT, I EVEN PRODUCED AND DIRECTED THEIR COMMERCIALS.
Every country has their speciality. Germany has the beer, Italy has the pizza, America has the hamburger and Turkey has the doner (aka shawarma, also shaurma). Doner is one of the most popular fast foods in the world. But even in its own country, there has never been a doner brand. Like the rest of the world, the Turkish fast food market has been dominated by burger brands. How do you break into cut-throat market dominated by global brands like McDonald’s and Burger King?
A “burger” is not just food, it represents the American culture. Turkish people are proud of their country and we wanted to remind them that they had a better option. Their own traditional fast food.
I came up with three short TVC’s and used the most symbolic feature of doner as the hero: the doner knife. The campaign is built on the political and social tensions between Turkey and the US. In each film, we see the knife cut something that represents American culture into two. Although the imagery is quite universal, I kept the music in line with the local trends to amplify the impact on the audience.
KasapDoner is made of 2 individual words. Kasap and Doner. In Turkish, the word "kasap" means "butcher". The founders have been butchers since 1946 so I wanted to highlight their expertise and heritage. This is also communicated through the cleaver in the logo.
PRE-PRODUCTION FOR THE FILMS
The storyboard and the other drawings I made before the shoot to make sure we have everything covered.
BEHIND THE CAMERA
Our sensei Ercan Sarbat -who holds the 15th dan rank- used a katana to cut the things in two. The katana was turned into a doner knife in the post. I thought it would be easy to shoot but it was way more challenging than I expected. When we practiced before the shoot, Ercan cut the ball into two in one attempt but I can't remember how many balls we wasted during the shoot. The hat was even more difficult. Some of the photos from the scene are below.
SOME OF THE RESTAURANTS AROUND THE COUNTRY
KasapDoner reached almost 60 restaurants in just 3 years.