A&W gets awkward in new campaign

Spots for Chicken Buddy Burger appeal to young YouTube viewers

A&W is aiming to reach younger consumers with new online spots that don’t say much at all.

The ads promote the fast-food chain’s Chicken Buddy Burger, the newest addition to A&W’s value menu, and feature the well-known A&W manager character, Allen.

In one spot, “Not Much Else to Say,” Allen explains that all A&W chicken is raised without the use of antibiotics, even the new Chicken Buddy Burger, and “there’s nothing else to say.” What follows is a 20-second awkward silence, with Allen staring at the camera and looking at his burger.

“Staring Contest” takes a similar approach, with Allen telling viewers they can skip the ad now “or we can have a staring contest.”

Tom Newitt, A&W’s senior director of marketing, brand communications, said the goal of all A&W advertising is to share the company’s “ingredients guarantee” story with Canadians.

“We’ve had great success with our television advertising, and we wanted to leverage this success on YouTube, where we can reach younger Canadians more easily,” said Newitt. The online spots “have a consistent look and feel with our TV ads, but were created specifically for YouTube’s unique skippable ad format.”

Newitt added that Canadians know Allen from A&W’s TV ads, and he has a very loyal following. “While we felt it was important to create online advertising that was consistent with our TV ads, we also knew that Canadians have very different expectations for content they see from brands online,” he said. “For YouTube, we wanted to create simple spots that were entertaining to watch.”

The campaign also includes in-restaurant creative, television and social media. Rethink developed the creative, Vizeum is handling media buying and Strategic Objectives is handling PR.


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