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Fast Food Marketing: 4 Bold New Campaigns

February 24, 2020 Sarah Cavill

Fast food companies are notorious for launching audacious campaigns in support of new activations, products or services, and four new companies have recently done just that.

Burger King Really Wants Consumers To Know How Fresh Their Burgers Are

A moldy burger might not shout “delicious” to most people, but knowing the freshest ingredients were used during preparation could provide reassurance to health-conscious consumers. That’s what Burger King is banking on with its new, somewhat nauseating, commercial featuring a tasty-looking and freshly-made burger left to sit out and rot. The fuzz and mold piles up over the course of 34 days, and the spot ends with the tagline “The Beauty of No Artificial Preservatives.”

The new, preservative-free Whopper is currently available at 400 Burger King restaurants and will be available across the company by the end of the year. "We believe that real food tastes better," said Fernando Machado, International Global Chief Marketing Officer of Restaurant Brands, which owns Burger King. "That's why we are working hard to remove preservatives, colors and flavors from artificial sources from the food we serve in all countries around the world."

Domino’s Promotes New Features With 1980’s Blasts From The Past

Domino’s new Pie Pass and GPS delivery alert options are both being promoted with throwbacks to the 80s many Gen Z and Millennials were likely not around yet to enjoy the first time. Pie Pass, a new personalized delivery system, has launched with a commercial that taps into nostalgia for popular sitcom Cheers and beloved barfly Norm. Using footage from Cheers, Norm enters Dominos and, for the first time ever, everyone doesn’t know his name, because he didn’t use Pie Pass. “Gone are the days of waiting for your carryout order,” said Dennis Maloney, Domino's Chief Innovation Officer. “Now when customers arrive at the store, they'll be greeted by name on our digital signage and handed their order. It's the ultimate VIP carryout experience where customers don't have to be a regular customer to be treated like one.”

Domino's launched its new GPS delivery alert system with a commercial recreating the famous scene from Risky Business where Tom Cruise dances around in his underwear. Apparently, Domino’s customers need to know up to the minute when their pizzas are arriving so they can make sure to have pants on when answering the door. “We heard that from so many consumers,” said Kate Trumbull, VP of Advertising and Hispanic marketing at Domino’s. Domino’s dipped into the 80s well before with a Ferris Bueller inspired spot starring Stranger Things actor Joe Keery. Nostalgia can be a powerful and fun way to attract attention to new campaigns, and with the popularity of Netflix, more and more younger generations are watching older TV shows and movies.

Chili’s Doesn’t Care If You Use Your Phone Or Talk Too Loudly When You ‘ITA At One Of Their Restaurants

Out to eat on left and out to 'ITA on right comparison from Chili's

After the #ChilisMyHouse push in the fall promoting Chili’s delivery options, the tex-mex family restaurant is now enticing people to dine out with Chili’s new “Out to ‘ITA” campaign. From margaritas to fajitas, guests can ‘ITA while making TikToks, sharing memes, or, based on the new commercials, barely containing themselves in their seats.

“As we enter the key season for the casual dining category, we wanted to create a campaign that captures the sensory and emotional experience of dining out at Chili’s… a celebration of food, fun and togetherness,” said Amy Rogers, Creative Director behind the ‘ITA campaign.

The campaign includes TV spots featuring some nods to ASMR like sizzling skillets, which radio spots will be using to even greater effect. In the spring, Chili’s will launch an experiential in-store event — a hot molten lava room celebrating Chili’s most popular dessert and promoting the “lively atmosphere” the ‘ITA campaign encourages.

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Go All In For Buffalo Wild Wings With Name Change

Man holding a shirt that says Bone Thugs-N-Harmony from Buffalo Wild Wings

For the love of chicken wings, and perhaps the love of marketing opportunities, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony have – after 25 years – changed their name to Boneless Thugs-N-Harmony as part of a partnership with Buffalo Wild Wings (BWW). Three members of the group will also be changing their monikers to align with the band-name change. (Apparently, one of the band members isn’t on board with the name change, which a funny “Behind The Music” spoof artfully addresses.)

In addition to the Behind the Music spot on YouTube, the band will be selling merchandise, including gold chains with a gilded boneless chicken pendant. But how long the name change will stick around and what else the group will be doing with BWW remains to be seen.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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