(Jack in the Box: BBQ Sirloin Burger commercial)
(Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on Food Network)
Jack in the Box, the King of fast food advertisements, sits on a throne far apart from the McDonald’s and Burger King. Using humor as a tool, the commercials command attention and portray a blunt silliness. After all, Jack is a clown. Ads aim to create two goals. Commercials that stick (can be remembered) and ads that create word of mouth buzz. Eventually, this leads to sales. At least, that the very idea. Harsh competition is an understatement in terms of the fast food world. Imagine having seven bucks for dinner. With a panoramic glance, one twirl around the food court at the mall gets me confused-too many choices. Like any great poker game, Jack has increased the ante. With creative innovation, Jack had created a video game to introduce their new BBQ Sirloin Burger.
It is a Western shoot them up game. Point, and shoot. At the end of the round, you’re rewarded a coupon to sample the beefy burger, the BBQ Sirloin Burger. Times are changing, and this is a pivotal example. Fast food once focused on food, but with the advent of the internet, fewer and fewer people are watching television. In the past, the commercials would feature customers biting into a juicy burger. Now, the primary goal is to build attention. More information about the food product can know be found online. Our human behavior is that we want to eat things instantly (fast food) and watch things we want to.
Try Hulu.com. It is collaboration with a few major studios including Fox and NBC that allows internet users to view free television shows and some movies. Essentially, fast food advertising spending will increase exponentially as the internet continues to grow. So, what the heck does this mean for you. Sure, we learned from economics 101 that competition is good since it keep prices low and consumers become king. More importantly, the fast food industry can no longer rely on food products as their core attraction but the need to add a dash of interactive games, a sprinkle of humorous skit in commercials, and a shower of contests just to draw our attention. So be ready, the beginning has arrived and the end is not near.
When I was the marketing manager for a Hawaiian franchise, I knew that we could not compete against these multi-million dollar fast food companies with a big budget and year of brand equity (a big word for what a brand is worth). Instead, I strategize and focused on targeting high schools. I emphasized on hiring the captain of a football team. After all, he is the jock of the school and an influencer. He draws the crowd. A great company that followed this strategy is UnderArmour.Once the David in against the Goliaths (Nike, Reebok) in the athletic apparel business. They focused on grassroots efforts marketing to high school sports. Soon enough, their apparel known to stay dry in sweaty conditions grew.
Overall, Americans love entertainment and the creative ad guys know this so the extinction of these creative viral adds is not near. With the over selling of fast foods, the rebirth of diners has sprouted. A niche of patrons finds create value in a neighborhood eatery serving homemade meals and where waiters know your name. It is not surprise that Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on Food Network is a big draw. Don’t forget to give Guy most of the credit, his high impact energy makes the show a crowd pleaser. Road food as they call it is now a sensational hit. Visit Roadfood.com for a list and let me know if you stumble upon some of these.