Webers großes Grillfest

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weber-grill-festCHALLENGE & SOLUTION

Every spring, barbecue master Weber traditionally welcomes the season by running dealer events in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. There, at the point of sale, barbecue enthusiasts watch innovative product demonstrations and taste delicious food.

The challenge was to transfer this event to the digital world, to make it entertaining, and to create compelling opportunities for interaction with the brand. It was focused on getting the barbecue fans emotionally connected with the brand – to inspire them by encouraging them to participate and experiment.

Branded content in the format of an interactive live event offered – as opposed to traditional advertising – the optimal approach to orchestrate the barbecue theme in an urban and entertaining way, and to enter into a sustained dialogue with the target group.

At the beginning of spring 2015, the interactive barbecue event Webers großes Grillfest’ was launched and staged by pilot Hamburg (conception, editorial, production) and Fuenfwerken Design AG (lead agency brand and corporate design, creation, consulting and conception). The event was implemented by fischerAppelt (social media, public relations, blogger relations, community management) and anyMOTION GRAPHICS GmbH who produced the campaign website and supported live streaming.

Star chef Johann Lafer and Weber’s professional barbecuer Klaus Breinig showed viewers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland how to create a perfect four-course barbecue meal. Viewers were challenged to barbecue live in tandem with the professionals in their own gardens at home. The event was broadcast live on 15 March 2015 from the Berlin SAGE Club, presented by famous TV hosts Steven Gaetjen and Jeannine Michaelsen.


The online barbecue event was promoted in advance through a radio and display ad campaign, teaser videos and ads in social media. The live stream of the event was presented on the Weber website and through innovative video banners in advertising spaces on,, online newspaper and radio station home pages, so these sites’ visitors could immediately follow the barbecue show live.

Even before the live event started, barbecue fans could participate in the show. A competition asked them to nominate ingredients for one of the four barbecue courses. They voted for their favourites via an online tool, and then chef Johann Lafer created a recipe from the community’s most popular choices and cooked it on the grill.

Using the hashtag #WeberGrillFest, the enthusiastic barbecue community sent in photos, comments and questions during the live event, and these were collected on a social wall on the event website. The show hosts and chefs responded in real time to these posts via tablet, and they integrated them into the live event on location.

The success of the ‘Webers großes Grillfest’ live interactive event was measured by reach and by engagement of the target group as evidenced by length of stay, shares, comments and interactions. The event was designed in a way that enabled freshly created and edited content, such as short recipe videos, to be used for Weber’s social channels like YouTube and Facebook directly after the live streaming.


The live event was advertised on radio and online, reaching more than 200 million total contacts. The four-hour live stream achieved more than two million views by sending the live signal to the target group via live streaming banners on many different media sites.

Webers großes Grillfest turned out to be a resounding success and the brand was delighted with the massive interest.


The live event reached more than two million contacts and was a real sensation within the participating countries – springtime couldn’t have started any better.

Marc André Palm,
Marketing Director EMEA Central,
Weber-Stephen Deutschland GmbH


With this innovative community event, we created substantial, relevant content for enthusiastic barbecue brand experts and new customers. Unlike using conventional advertising, with branded content Weber could establish a dialogue with the target group in an entertaining way, and inspire an emotional connection and passion for the brand.

Thorsten Peters,
Managing Director Creation,
pilot Hamburg

This case study was originally published in the BOBCM DACH Region Edition (2015) co-edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl and Greta MacFarlane.

About the author

Justin Kirby is a consultant, educator and thought leader with a 20+ year career in industry as a digital strategist, producer and entrepreneur. He chairs and speaks at conferences around the globe, judge industry awards, and advise brands and agencies.