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sonic-drive-in-live-free-eat-sonic.jpg Courtesy of Sonic
An image of a van in a new Sonic Drive-In commercial whose driver is on a mission to rescue people from monotonous eating.

Sonic Drive-In launches branding initiative to highlight the chain’s distinctiveness

A new shopping website will allow guests to buy machines to make the chain’s beloved ice

Sonic Drive-In has launched a new marketing initiative to promote the quick-service chain as a place to have great experiences.

It’s also offering customers a chance to make a machine that makes the same beloved nugget ice that’s offered at its restaurants.

The Live Free Eat Sonic campaign positions Sonic as a venue for fun that breaks the monotony of other fast-food.

In a statement announcing the branding initiative, chief marketing officer Ryan Dickerson said the chain was highlighting its distinguishing characteristics, especially its customizable beverages, “whether it’s a classic chili cheese coney paired with tots or a beverage you’ve customized yourself like the viral Dr. Pepper with pickle slices.”

The chain has long offered hot dogs, which it calls coneys, and adding pickles to Dr. Pepper, a beverage not found at most chains, has been trending on TikTok.

Sonic also offers other not-so-usual menu items, including a burger with garlic butter and bacon, and some fairly off-the-wall limited time offers.

A January LTO burger had peanut butter on it, and that same month it jumped on the “dirty soda” trend, by allowing customers to add coconut cream to any soda.

One new ad in the Live Free Eat Sonic series features a fictional Wonkalike Department of Research and Deliciousment where the very real Groovy Fries, reworked crinkle-cut fries that the brand launched in May along with a tangy and rather spicy Groovy Sauce.

Dickerson added that the new branding is a continuation of a shift away from the Two Guys ads, in which two friends joke about Sonic items while sitting in one of their cars, which were phased out in 2020. Since then the marketing has focused more on its food and beverage, sometimes with the help of celebrities, such as Reba McEntire, who promoted the chain as a date-night venue for Valentine’s Day, and various other musical artists, who posted their favorite drink combinations on Instagram.

However, with this new campaign, we’re thrilled to reintroduce a fun and colorful duo into our spots in a new way, allowing them to be the faces and voices of our ingenious menu creations.” He said.

That duo is the chain’s fictional Chief Ingenuity Officer, played by actor Mitch Eakins, and his sidekick Tia Saborita, played by Veronica Osorio.

Sonic also is launching a new website to sell a rotating line of clothing and other merch, including nugget icemakers and extreme sports accessories. The site,, is slated to go live on June 17, and Sonic said net proceeds will be donated to support public education through the Sonic Federation.

The chain is also sponsoring extreme sports at the end of the month in the X Games Ventura 2024 Presented by Sonic.

The Live Free Eat Sonic campaign was developed in partnership with Sonic’s creative agency of record, Mother Los Angeles.

There are more than 3,700 Sonic Drive-In locations in 47 states. The chain is a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Inspire Brands.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Correction: June 13, 2024
This story has been updated with the names of the lead actors in Sonic Drive-In's latest commercials.
TAGS: Marketing
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