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5 notable restaurant marketing campaigns of 2014

5 notable restaurant marketing campaigns of 2014

Get more highlights from 2014 >>

Taco Bell: "Breakfast with Ronald"

Taco Bell, which slowly built breakfast excitement amped it up this year by offering breakfast at 5,500 restaurants nationwide. Its television ad campaign to support that, featuring regular citizens who happen to share monikers with the quick-service clown mascot, gained quick attention. Created by ad agency Deutsch LA, the spots feature real people named Ronald McDonald from across the U.S., expressing love for Taco Bell’s signature breakfast items, including the famed Waffle Taco, the A.M. Crunchwrap and Cinnabon Delights. The chain indicated it was the biggest marketing push of its 52-year history.

Starbucks: "Meet me at Starbucks"

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“Meet Me at Starbucks,” the chain’s first-ever brand campaign, was designed to break the boundaries of what Starbucks is and what it stands for. The goal of this campaign, which was created by its ad agency 72andsunny, was to reposition the coffee chain as a neighborhood-meeting place for people from all walks of life. The creative spots offer an artistic perspective of the variety of people who go to Starbucks, and focuses on more than just the coffee. It chronicles “a day in the life of Starbucks” through a mini-documentary that was shot in 59 different stores in 28 countries. In the highlighted video, titled “Finding Understanding,” the chain highlights a meet-up for the deaf in Honolulu. 

KFC: "Together"

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KFC’s newly launched campaign, created by its ad agency Creative Alliance, targets its growing Hispanic audience with a family-focused approach that expresses how people can be united at the dinner table. Its ad spot portrays a nine-person, multicultural Hispanic family sharing a KFC Favorites Bucket of fried chicken, as well as the meal’s accompanying chicken tenders and hot wings. It begins with a shot of what appears to be a modern nuclear family, and then pans to reveal the diverse, multigenerational group sharing the meal. The Hispanic community is one of the nation’s fastest-growing consumer segments, and KFC was poised to reap benefits from its laser focus on that demographic with this campaign. 

McDonald's: "Our food. Your questions."

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In an effort to increase the chain’s transparency, McDonald’s Corp. unveiled a new campaign, which was created by its ad agency DDB Worldwide, to address challenging questions about the quality of the food that it serves. In a series of videos available on the company’s website, as well as through social media channels and a TV commercial spot, McDonald’s officials offer direct explanations about the ingredients the chain uses. It even went as far as enlisting Grant Imahara, a former co-host of Discovery Channel’s MythBusters, to provide a behind-the-scenes look at the chain’s food. Beyond the videos, the website also provides a deeper explanation of its offerings with responses to customers’ questions via a “frequently asked questions (FAQ)” format. This campaign aims to debunk any rumors about the quality of food the chain serves and attempts to reframe how consumers perceive it.

Pizza Hut: "Flavor of now"

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Pizza Hut’s newest campaign includes a series of TV ads featuring a group of aging villagers from an Old World town in Sorrento, Italy. The chain’s hope is that a younger audience will retain the message that the brand is ready for something new. Pizza Hut asked the elderly group what they thought of the revamp’s exotic new flavors, from Peruvian cherry peppers to a honey Sriracha crust, and their amusingly cold reception aims to catch the attention of hip consumers and make Pizza Hut cool again. The commercials, which were created by the ad agency Deutsch LA, also feature Pizza Hut’s new mobile app, which will be more interactive, its new customizable menu, as well as short spots that show Old World opinions on contemporary trends such as taking selfies.


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