What is in this article?:
- Top 10 restaurant brand advertisers
- Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse lead casual-dining category
- Top quick-service ads focus on culinary innovation
Research firm Ace Metrix reveals which restaurants had the most effective ads in the quick-service and casual-dining segments
Top quick-service ads focus on culinary innovation
Quick-service No. 1: Pizza Hut
Average Ace Score: 598
Quick-service chains succeeded mostly by touting their latest limited-time offerings, and the emphasis tended to be more on the culinary innovation than on the price point, Symonds noted. This was especially true with Pizza Hut, which had the highest average Ace Score outside of casual dining in 2012.
“For Pizza Hut and Domino’s, their success was in their deal diversity and product innovation,” Symonds said.
The chain’s two highest-scoring ads were for the Big Dinner Box, including a 15-second spot and a 30-second commercial that took the brand’s highest Ace Score and starred Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Quick-service No. 2: Baskin-Robbins
Average Ace Score: 597
Baskin-Robbins and Dairy Queen led all treat chains and tied for the second-highest average Ace Score in quick service.
Symonds called Baskin-Robbins the “king of the 15-second commercials,” as all five of its top-scoring ads from the “Flavortising” campaign were half as long as typically commercials. “They’re heavy on the food shots with a clever little quip at the end,” he said. “There’s just a lot to like. A very high number of responses from surveyed consumers had to do with words like ‘yummy,’ ‘delicious’ and ‘want.’”
Baskin-Robbins promoted several products, including Waffle Chip Dippers, mini parfaits, and cakes for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Quick-service No. 3: Dairy Queen
Average Ace Score: 597
Symonds noted that Dairy Queen’s commercials also were “driving the Pavlovian response” for consumers, many of whom associated the spots in surveys with words like “good” and “yum” as well.
The chain’s signature desserts starred in its two highest-scoring ads, including a 30-second spot for a buy-one-get-one Blizzard deal and a 15-second commercial for Blizzard Cakes.
Three humorous spots for Dairy Queen’s “So good it’s Ri-DQ-lous” campaign also performed well in 2012, Ace Metrix found.
Quick-service No. 4: Domino’s Pizza
Average Ace Score: 592
Like Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza built most of its most successful commercials around new product introductions this year. However, its highest-scoring ad of the year went lighter on the food shots and featured the chain’s fastest pizza box folder getting ready for the demand of an aggressive carryout offer.
Symonds noted, however, that Domino’s still got nice traction for new items in commercials that featured chief executive Patrick Doyle, who has starred in commercials for the past few years.
“Their top ad was for the $5.99 carryout deal, but then the new Pan Pizza spot and the commercial for Parmesan Bread Bites bring in new news but with a familiar message,” Symonds said.
Quick-service No. 5: KFC
Average Ace Score: 579
In quick service, few chains were more prolific in their new-product introductions than KFC in 2012, and Ace Metrix found that their commercials broke through nicely with consumers, often with several spots for the same product performing well.
The brand’s two highest-scoring ads, for instance, were a 30-second ad for Original Recipe Bites in which a father tricks his son into leaving the snack item unguarded by sending him away for a fake game of hide and seek, as well as a 15-second version of the same spot. Two separate commercials for the Chunky Pot Pie garnered the No. 3 and No. 4 Ace Scores as well.
“KFC had clever advertising,” Symonds said. “Whether for the new Original Recipe Bites or the seasonal introduction of the pot pie, KFC made this list with a couple of really, really good campaigns.”
Contact Mark Brandau at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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