New marketing campaigns showcase more than menus


The start of springtime and the start of the second quarter has opened new advertising windows for several of the restaurant industry’s largest advertisers.

In the past week, Wendy’s, Domino’s Pizza, Dairy Queen and Fazoli’s have introduced new television commercials showing a fresh take on sales-building initiatives that the brands have been brewing for months.

Each of the four brands is tying the new spots to the promotion of certain menu items, but each commercial also represents a new step in the brands’ marketing strategies, including a new tagline for Wendy’s, moving from “yes” to “no” at Domino’s, extending the “So good it’s RiDQlous” campaign for Dairy Queen, and unveiling “A Whole New Fazoli’s.”

Wendy’s, Domino’s and Dairy Queen began airing their commercials this week, and Fazoli’s will start broadcasting its new spots Monday.

Wendy’s gets ‘Better’ tagline

Wendy’s latest commercial for its Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club carries the brand’s new tagline, “Now That’s Better.” Brand spokesman Denny Lynch confirmed the slogan will be Wendy’s tagline going forward, though Wendy’s has not yet announced when a new marketing campaign will run.

At an investor conference in January, chief executive Emil Brolick first hinted that Wendy’s would debut a new marketing campaign in the second quarter. Brolick disclosed that the brand had run more than 55 commercials with the “You Know When It’s Real” tagline since October 2009, making it the most successful campaign since the passing of chain founder and spokesman Dave Thomas.

Up to his death in 2002, Thomas filmed more than 700 commercials for Wendy’s, and the chain struggled to find a coherent marketing voice after losing him. One attempt with a new spokesman, Mr. Wendy, lasted only nine commercials, and Brolick called the 24 “red wig” commercials from the middle of last decade “embarrassing.”

New commercials will advertise Wendy’s product quality, which Brolick said during the chain’s fourth-quarter earnings call would position Wendy’s to compete with fast-casual competitors and fend off McDonald’s attempts to outflank the brand with commercials focused on their suppliers.

Watch a commercial featuring the new tagline; story continues below

“We have to be in that space, sharing what makes us different and what makes us better,” Brolick said during the call, “and there will be a component of that in our new advertising campaign that is designed to deal specifically with that, along with the traditional need to drive sales through product innovation.”

Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy’s also recently hired Craig Bahner as its chief marketing officer.