Spotted! Jack Astor’s campaigns for Bill Gates

The restaurant chain is welcoming the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference with a street-level stunt in Toronto.

The Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference is bringing an expected 15,000 employees and corporate partners from around the world to Toronto this week, and Jack Astor’s is welcoming the company with a street-level stunt at five of its restaurants in the city.

Jack Astor’s has launched a “Bill Gates for Mayor” campaign aimed at attracting the attention of conference-goers (and hopefully Microsoft chairman Gates) who are in the city this week at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and Air Canada Centre.

The stunt was conceived by Service Inspired Restaurants which operates Jack Astor’s, along with its agency Zulu Alpha Kilo, Lauren Michell, VP of marketing at SIR Corp., tells MiC. It includes staff members congregating outside restaurant locations with “Bill Gates for Mayor” signs, faux Bill Gates masks and other promotional materials. The faux-campaign also links to the restaurant’s YouTube and Facebook channels and on Twitter through the #BillGatesForMayor hashtag.

Michell says the execution is in line with the brand’s “irreverent, fun and unexpected” nature, and also with its goal of using lower cost media, such as street stunts, rather than TV buys. The stunt is the latest in street-level promotions for the company which recently sent a fleet of Jack Astor’s-branded Minis through the downtown Toronto core to hand out samples and promote its core menu.