Applebee’s has partnered with Bell Media Mix on a year-long marketing partnership – its biggest Canadian campaign to date – that will utilize the media company’s TV, radio, digital and social media platforms.
Debbie Drutz, vice-president of Bell Media Mix in Toronto, said that the campaign will focus on several of the casual-dining chain’s key markets in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta.
It will incorporate Bell Media TV properties including CTV, CTV Two and CP24, as well as radio stations including Windsor’s AM800, Cambridge’s Kool 105.3FM and Winnipeg’s 103.1 Virgin Radio and 99.9 BOB FM. CTV.ca will also feature regionally targeted advertising.
Traditional ad creative by Ogilvy Toronto features management from local Applebee’s franchises in order to reinforce consumer perception of the chain as a neighbourhood restaurant. A series of on-air integrations featuring local DJs, as well as contesting and promotions, will complement the 15 and 30-second spots.
A contest running on Brandon, Man. station BOB FM, for example, offers listeners a weekly chance at a $50 Applebee’s gift card by participating in an online survey. There will also be weekly live giveaways on CTV’s morning programming in Calgary, Regina and Winnipeg, as well as prize boards on CTV Two stations in Barrie and Windsor.
Drutz said that Applebee’s owner Dynapple Management Corporation had initially approached the company about a radio-only initiative, but was convinced to expand the program to include other Bell-owned assets.
“The goal is to better resonate with Canadian consumers, and get people into the restaurant to experience the great food and great atmosphere,” said Drutz. “Traditionally they were just doing radio spots, not really highlighting a lot of their attributes.”
The first in a series of four-week campaigns, “Bee Savvy”, kicked off Feb. 17. The campaign promotes the restaurant chain’s “2 for $25” offer, which includes an appetizer and two entrees for $25. The ads will target consumers during the afternoon drive, when they are thinking about that evening’s meal options.