What is in this article?:
- Restaurant chains build buzz with Super Bowl reveals
- Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Papa John's prepare for game day
NRN West Coast Bureau Chief Lisa Jennings looks at how quick-service brand campaigns stretch out marketing beyond game day
There is a football game scheduled this weekend that will prompt Americans to eat a projected 1.3 billion chicken wings, order at least 23 million feet of pizza and, hopefully, pack any restaurant and bar with a TV to quaff a beverage or two.
But for restaurant chains, the season of Super Bowl is also a time for splashy advertising to capture the attention of the projected 100 million-plus sets of eyeballs that will be watching on various devices.
This year, it’s not just about game day. Several brands are building suspense for a big reveal during Super Bowl ads. They are stretching the marketing season out over several weeks before the event and giving reason for viewers to delay a fridge run for more beer during the anticipated commercials to come.
Jack in the Box Inc., for example, is using the Super Bowl to launch a marketing campaign around a “Declaration of Delicious” theme designed to highlight a menu overhaul that has resulted in improvements to 29 menu items, a move company officials have been talking about for about a year.
Last month the chain debuted the new Double Jack Burger showcasing the upgrades, including two all-beef patties, two slices of American cheese, fresh lettuce and tomato, ketchup, mustard, pickles, onions and “real mayonnaise” on new, buttery, split-top buns. The mayo replaces Jack in the Box’s previous signature onion mayo sauce.
During the Super Bowl, Jack in the Box is planning “a very big, mouthwatering announcement,” which the chain has been hinting at in teaser ads this week featuring mascot Jack in full George Washington-crossing-the-Delaware pose.
It’s a bit of a mashup of historical metaphors, given that the iconic painting refers to an attack against Hessian forces in the Battle of Trenton. And the Jack in the Box pre-Big Game teaser warns that “the delicious are coming,” more reminiscent of Paul Revere’s alert of the approach of British forces before the Battle of Lexington.
But no need for semantics. It’s a Super Bowl ad.
The idea is that, like the American revolution, Jack in the Box’s menu upgrades are a defining moment in American history, said Iwona Alter, the brand’s vice president of product marketing and innovation.
“We’re putting a mark in the sand,” she said. “We are making a statement that we stand for quality or craveable food, and our burgers are getting better.”
In addition, on Sunday, Jack in the Box’s Twitter channel will be taken over by Nathaniel Caw, the brand’s official “spokeseagle,” who will live tweet throughout the day.
KFC will use the Super Bowl for the reveal of a new celebrity playing the Colonel.
Norm MacDonald is saying his goodbyes in teaser ads this week that make his six months as Colonel Sanders seem like a drug-induced dream.
Rather than placing an ad during the CBS broadcast of the game, however, KFC bought a spot during the pre-game broadcast to remind viewers to stock up on KFC before kickoff. The ad will also appear during the CBS livestream, the company said.