Restaurant ads working to attract foodies

Restaurant ads working to attract foodies

The billions of dollars spent on restaurant-chain advertising have typically been focused on value, convenience, service or speed, but today, ads are more and more centered on the culinary characteristics of chains or menus.

Burger King changed its “Have it your way” to “culinary collaboration,” for example, and Red Lobster isn’t touting casual-dining price points, but fishermen searching for the best seafood to place on the chain’s wood-fired grill. Taco Bell and KFC have promoted quality, fresh ingredients and even the presence of “real chefs” in their kitchens.

In its “What’s Hot” survey looking forward to 2011, the National Restaurant Association reported that “farm-branded ingredients” would be among the top-10 menu trends this year. And it’s no secret American consumers have become more aware of everything food-related, from cooking techniques to the source of ingredients. The proliferation of food television programs and celebrity chefs providing more access to dining, cooking and culinary education are the fuel behind this fire.

Despite the recession and its lagging recovery, “artisan” has replaced “value” as a marketing buzzword, a recent USA Today article reported. A commercial for Domino’s new Artisan Pizza line, for example, featuring former "Top Chef" contestant Fabio Viviani, is just one piece of proof.

Nation’s Restaurant News collected commercials — both old and new — from a range of chain restaurants to highlight the changing landscape of marketing and the consumers those efforts try to reach.

First up: Domino's