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Toast (previously named Sam's Cafe) is a brunch restaurant located in Champaign, Illinois. We formed a mini advertising agency to help rebrand the restaurant. We analyzed the current market, came up with customer personas, drew a customer journey map (a marketing plan to show how to get customers to understand the brand better), and managed their advertising accounts.
Role: Visual Design, advertising research
Tool: Photoshop, Sketch, and etc. 
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Mascot: A Pancake couple :)
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Color Palette

Primary Color: 
Secondary Color: 

Logo selections

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Campaign Ideation Process

User Research

I came up with some interview questions and interviewed 8 consumers. “Brunch is a way to socialize with others”, one interviewee said. “No one goes to brunch alone because that’s sad”, said another. 

Create Personas

The brand persona (a typical character of a customer) was someone like Joseph Gordon-Levitt who was bright, approachable, chic, minimalist and fun to be with.

First, we did an analysis and found that the target audience were white-collar workers around the age of 25 to 35. They tended to be social networkers who loved to stay in touch with friends.

The secondary audience were family-oriented retirees who went out to eat and graduate students who just became financially independent.

Watch out the Marketing Plan

is under a visual construction ...

Market Analysis

(SWOT) Afterward, we studied the competitors and found that although Sam’s Café wasn’t well decorated as their competitors, it had very friendly staff.

Branding Strategies

Sam's cafe's previous branding strategy was weak. Some customers described sam's cafe as a “dingy little diner” on Yelp. Others weren’t even aware of its existence in the area. Although the food was delicious, the restaurant was shabby and unappealing. We volunteered to increase the awareness of the restaurant, change people’s perceptions, and build trust between customers and the brand.


For the advertising strategy, we draw a customer journey map and made plans to advertise the restaurant through print ad, outdoor ad, guerilla marketing, and etc.


Guerilla Marketing

This is my design concept of a "magic machine" that aims to bring people together. Imagine when you are waiting for the bus or train at the station, you see a cute pancake advertisement saying "Brunch together?". This draws you to read the ad which asks you to invite someone to sit next to you. You can press the button and activate the toaster between the two seats. The toast-shaped dining coupon will be printed and pumped out of the toaster. You might feel entertained, so you grab the coupon and redeem it with someone at the restaurant. The whole experience is fun and engaging and it might make you start a conversation with someone next to you whether he or she is your friend or just a friendly stranger. The coupon also encourages people to seek meaningful friendships, and to bring in more customers to the restaurant.


Social Media Marketing

After engaging with the brand for some time, a potential customer would recall Toast whenever they needed to meet up with a friend, who, in turn, would bring even more customers to the restaurant. The friendly staff and the new experience we created will lead to positive Yelp reviews, which will attract more customers in the future.

These advertisements would bring the target audience to engage with the brand on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and all the posts would keep the same tone of celebrating friendship and reminding consumers to socialize at Toast.


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