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Uncommon Brings the Japanese Art of 'Kintsugi' to Wagamama's Iconic Benches

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Campaign sees the benches placed in key university cities including Brighton, Bristol and Manchester

Uncommon Brings the Japanese Art of 'Kintsugi' to Wagamama's Iconic Benches

Popular restaurant chain, wagamama has hired creative studio, Uncommon following a call for a new creative partner. Uncommon were awarded the business without a pitch and will be working in tandem with the brand on a project basis on brand activation and fame driving briefs over the coming months as the hospitality industry begins to open-up.

The first project focuses on an iconic feature of the restaurant. wagamama’s benches have aided conversation and connected people since it opened its doors in 1992. So, while UK diners aren’t yet allowed to meet their loved ones on the famous benches in restaurant, wagamama has brought the benches to them.

Natalie Graeme, co-founder at Uncommon said: “wagamama are loved by many. Nourishing the nation from bowl to soul for over 25 years, they have an incredibly powerful place to play in the category, especially as the hospitality sector emerges from lockdown. The ‘kaizen’ philosophy that sits at the heart of all they do speaks directly to how we see the role brands can play in the world. We’re looking forward to working together and help bring even more of this energy to bear on projects.”

Since the government’s roadmap specifically allows two people to meet, socially distanced, on a bench, wagamama placed iconic Japanese benches in key university cities: Brighton, Bristol and Manchester — serving up free cups of fresh Green Tea and encouraging people to take a moment to sit at the bench and open up with one another about how they are really feeling.

Emma Woods, CEO at Wagamama, comments: “We can’t nourish young people in our restaurants at the moment but we do want to support them coping with the pressure to put their game face on and 'party', as soon as lockdown eases.

"We know from our work with Young Minds that a lot of them have really struggled over the last few months in particular and are feeling low. Talking with friends about your anxieties is the simple advice Young Minds and Ben West are encouraging. We’re really excited to be working with Uncommon on projects like this — with more to come.”

The benches are inspired by ‘Kintsugi’ — a Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the cracks with gold lacquer — this distinct design aesthetic is reflected in the benches.

The pandemic has increased mental health struggles especially for young people, so wagamama wants to shine a light on the challenges that many young people are going to face coming out of lockdown. wagamama worked closely with their charity partner Young Minds and mental health campaigner Ben West on the project.

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Categories: Restaurants, Retail and Restaurants

Uncommon, Tue, 23 Mar 2021 14:05:08 GMT