How we managed to feed 18000 people pasta bolognese for a social media activation

Stavros Kontaktsis
11 min readFeb 1

Throughout all my years in the business, I have had an issue with the case studies we share. To put it mildly, they suck. They offer no factual information on how the project was and overstate their role and the project’s performance. So starting today, I’ll try to give a sneak peek at how the sausage is made. Maybe it will be helpful for people in the industry to understand the actual process behind campaigns that performed beyond our wildest expectations.

So let’s set the stage.

The year is 2016, yes, before covid; it’s early July, and we are a young agency straggling to make our mark in the industry. We came out of a partnership through a painful divorce because we wanted to do things differently. After a long year of trying to find our footing, we finally have some traction. Things are moving in the right direction. We have a huge project underway with one of the big FMCG players in the market that also expressed the intention to buy us out. They didn’t, but this is for another story.

“I spoke to Marialena, who I knew from her previous role. She is now Head of Marketing at Melissa, the biggest pasta brand in Greece. She wants to see the company and might consider us for their social media spec. My business partner George comes in with a pitch.

We accept the meeting and drive over and meet them. The discussion went excellent, and we got a new session so they could brief us on the spec.

It’s now late July, and we just got briefed on a social media project for Melissa. They want us to pitch in 4 weeks, but we are thinly stressed for resources, and to add up to the problems, we, as all greek agencies do, are going to close for two weeks in August. Myrto, our client service director at the time and general manager now, comes into my office worried. “We cannot do it. There isn’t anybody available to work on the spec. We have to decline and focus on the other project.” I calm her down and tell her not to worry. I’m not going on vacation; I will be here and run all the basics of the spec so that we’ll have to produce the spec creative work when we come back. The next day I got a call from the people of the FMCG with the “suggestion” not to work on the other pitch and not to switch focus. I…

Stavros Kontaktsis

With a diploma in Chemical Engineering I ended up in Advertising and Communications. I like gadgets and scuba. Opinions are my own.