The History channel is teaming up with Morton’s the Steakhouse to promote its new miniseries, The Men Who Built America, which debuts Oct. 16, with a special menu that captures the idea of powerful business magnates brokering deals in steakhouses.
Kris Guthrie, vice president of marketing for Landry’s, which acquired Morton’s in February, said History approached the company about doing the promotion. “They were looking for a restaurant partner in the high-end steak category that could really speak to the high-power dinner kind of thing,” she said.
Guthrie added that the promotion was underway at the same time that Landry’s was moving to update Morton’s menu. “It was kind of dated and needed a refresher,” she said. “This is a way for us to get in front of people who might have forgotten about us, or didn’t know about us,” she said.
This promotion is History’s first partnership with a national restaurant chain, according to Samantha Maltin, the network’s senior vice president for marketing. She noted that the channel’s ad agency, Civic Entertainment, also had a relationship with 63-unit Morton’s.
The discounted $59.99 menu starts with a choice of Caesar salad; chopped spinach salad with warm bacon dressing; or the Morton’s Salad, topped with blue cheese dressing, chopped egg and anchovies. The main course is a six-ounce filet mignon with a choice of broiled sea scallops, jumbo shrimp Alexander (breaded shrimp served with beurre blanc), or a jumbo lump crab cake with a choice of vegetable. Dessert is a choice of Morton’s signature hot chocolate cake, Key lime pie or crème brûlée.
Guthrie said those items already were on the menu. “It’s our kind of tried and true [items], the things people love,” she noted.
Maltin said: “I think we just tried to pick a few signature things that bring to life the personas that are recognized in our show. Environmentally it made sense.”
A special cocktail also is being offered during the promotion, which ends when the four-part series does, on Nov. 16. The $14 Rockefeller Martini, which History said was created at the Knickerbocker Hotel in Manhattan for John D. Rockefeller, the country’s first billionaire, is made with London Dry Gin, dry vermouth, bitters, lemon zest and an olive.
Also for the course of the promotion, History and Morton’s are featuring a “Live like a Tycoon” sweepstakes. The winner will receive a trip for two to Las Vegas that includes a stay at the Golden Nugget Casino, which also is owned by Landry’s, a shopping spree, and dinner at Morton’s Las Vegas, which is located in the Golden Nugget.
Guthrie said this was Landry’s first promotion of its kind for Morton’s, but other Landry’s brands have helped promote DVDs, CDs and movies. For example, Rainforest Café has tried to reach its demographic with video game promotions, she said.
Landry’s is currently looking at one of the big name “boy bands” for a promotion with one of its brands, she said, although declined to provide further details.
“We take every relationship differently and look at how we and the partner can benefit and create a new and interesting experience for our guests around each one of them,” she said. “We get to talk to our customers in a different way, and hopefully pick up some new ones.”
History, which targets a well-to-do, educated market, fits “perfectly” into the Morton’s demographic, she said.