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Denny’s uses diner heritage in new ads

Denny’s is looking to its 50-plus year history as a self-described 24/7 family diner in its new ad campaign, which the company outlined Wednesday.

The “America’s Diner is Always Open” campaign includes a new series of ads created by Interpublic Group’s Gotham, which Denny’s hired as its agency of record last summer. The initial four “Dinersodes” spots highlight Denny’s diner atmosphere and “openness,” said chief marketing officer Frances Allen.

“This brand initiative is significant for Denny’s because it brings the company back to its roots,” Allen said in a statement. “The ‘Dinersodes’ showcase the open and welcoming experience that guests already enjoy at our 1,600+ restaurants and serve as our next step in recapturing the hearts and stomachs of American consumers.”

More new ads from Denny’s

Denny’s $2 $4 $6 $8 menu figures prominently in the ads. The chain rolled out the tiered value menu last year and has since updated it with such items as a Cheese Burger Flatbread for $2, Build Your Own Chicken Wraps for $4 and Chicken Parmesan for $8.

Executives at the family-dining chain cited the value menu for driving a 2.3-percent jump in traffic in the September 2010-ending third quarter, which Denny’s said was its strongest performance since 2005.

“For Denny’s, openness is about much more than our 24/7 hours of operation, it also includes a truly diverse menu that covers all price points and dietary preferences, with the enjoyment of a ‘come as you are’ attitude that makes all guests feel right at home,” Allen said.

In addition to the commercials, the new marketing campaign includes a redesigned website, in-store materials and social media initiatives on Denny’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, the company said.

Denny’s latest marketing campaign comes amid new leadership at the Spartanburg, S.C.-based chain. Taco Bueno veteran John C. Miller took the reins as chief executive at Denny’s this week, filling the role formerly held by Nelson Marchioli, who resigned last June amid pressure from shareholders. Over the past year, Denny’s also hired Allen as chief marketing officer and Robert Rodriguez as chief operating officer.

Contact Molly Gise at [email protected].

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