Super Bowl Watch: Papa John's Borrows From 2011 Playbook

Posted by Michael Waltzer on January 24, 2012 06:01 PM

Papa John's sold more than one million pizzas on Super Bowl Sunday last year, without advertising during the game despite being the NFL's official pizza sponsor.

Its promotional stunt — offering free pizzas to its rewards program members if the 2011 Super Bowl showdown between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers went into overtime — hinged on the safe bet that that Super Bowl games have never gone into overtime. Loyalty members were also randomly selected every 45 seconds for a $45 gift card.

This year's Super Bowl promotion for the pizza chain takes from that playbook while trying to sweeten the incentive.Continue reading...

brand vs. brand

Taco Bell Takes On Chipotle with New Menu

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 24, 2012 10:01 AM

Taco Bell has been marketing itself for a long time as an inexpensive place to eat rather than as a quality eating experience and now it turns out that those who went the other direction, such as Chipotle, are actually winning the consumer dollars. Motley Fool reports that Taco Bell has closed down 1,000 of its locations since 2000. Even with that, the restaurant makes up 60% of restaurant behemoth Yum! Brands’ profits in the United States.

Yum!’s attentions are focused on expanding Pizza Hut and KFC in China, but concern for Taco Bell has some trying to figure out how it can rebrand. One of the main reasons it needs to refresh its image is because the restaurant is still reeling from a lawsuit that alleged that the restaurant used meat that was only 35% beef, even though the accusations were later withdrawn, as Taco Bell president Greg Creed announced on YouTube.

While Taco Bell — with hopes high for a Super Bowl bump — has been suffering, rivals like Chipotle are booming.Continue reading...

brand vs. brand

Tim Hortons Goes Big to Fend Off Starbucks Venti

Posted by Abe Sauer on January 18, 2012 12:11 PM

"What’s an ounce? When did Tim go American in Canada? FYI its milliliters."

That's the first comment on Toronto Life's web piece noting that Canada's homebrewed Tim Hortons chain of coffee shops will introduce a 24-ounce extra large coffee on Monday, January 23rd. The new mega-size bests the Starbucks Venti by a full 4 ounces. In addition, Tim Hortons is sliding all of its size names to accommodate its new extra large. The gloves are off. Continue reading...

chew on this

Fast Food Brands: Forget Deals, Try Manners

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 9, 2012 04:04 PM

After everybody blows their budgets at holiday time, consumers generally go into a brief hibernation of sorts. They eat at home and start scraping their pennies together again for the next time they need to show some consumer confidence.

USA Today takes note of how fast-food establishments are going to do everything they can to keep those consumers coming out and spending their dollars, though “a key indicator for the industry, foot traffic, was down 0.6% in the third quarter of 2011,” according to a new report from NPD Group, and “restaurant visits in the first half of 2012” are projected to be “flat.”

So what tactic will the industry pull out to lead hungry Americans their way? Deals!Continue reading...

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Star Wars Fans: Would You Like Fries With Your Jedi Burger?

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 4, 2012 07:05 PM

Looking for a burger to go with your Darth Maul Brisk soda? Get thee to Europe, where the Quick burger chain, which made headlines with a halal burger last year, is releasing a trio of burgers to tie into the upcoming 3D release of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace in theaters.

As noted on the French Star Wars fan forum and picked up on Buzzfeed and A Hamburger Today, the limited edition burgers coming to France, Belgium and Luxembourg include a Sith-tastic reddish Dark Burger, a Yodalicious green Jedi Burger, and a disturbingly black-bunned Dark Vador (Darth Vader) Burger. At least the fine print on Quick's ads remind diners to remember their fruits and veggies.


McDonald's Releases 2011 Sustainability Scorecard

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 3, 2012 09:43 AM

McDonald's Corporation has released its 2011 Sustainability Scorecard outlining the company's progress in five areas, including environmental responsibility and sustainable sourcing. Click here for the press release and more on the company's progress as it seeks to make sustainability part of its everyday business operations.Continue reading...

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McDonald's Kicks Off Controversial Farm to Fork Campaign

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 2, 2012 07:12 PM

McDonald's US this week kicks off its "farm to fork" campaign touting its local suppliers (don't call them farmers) of the mainstay ingredients on its menu: potatoes, beef and lettuce. Watch the other spots, already being dubbed "farmwashing" by critics of the quick-serve restaurant giant's supply chain, below.

One local marketing move less likely to garner criticism — the chain is serving free coffee (no purchase necessary) in select US markets to say thank you to customers "in tough economic times."Continue reading...

local branding

Sen. Schumer Likes His New York Brew – And Wants You To Do the Same

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 16, 2011 10:10 AM

Booze is recession-proof: people drink alcohol in good economic times and they drink alcohol in bad economic times, athough the price of what they imbibe may decrease in tough times.

According to Fox, “a recent Gallup poll shows alcohol consumption hit a 25-year high in 2010, with 67 percent of Americans reporting drinking alcoholic beverages.” That is pretty close to the all-time alcohol-consumption high of 71 percent set back in the ‘70s, the site notes.

New York Senator Charles Schumer, an outspoken Democrat, is trying to use this fact to help his state’s business grow. While New York state is the official body behind the famed "I Love NY" campaign (not New York City, as commonly believed), Schumer feels it isn't doing enough for local businesses. That's why he's encouraging restaurants, bars, and retailers to stock as much New York-brewed beer as possible, according to the Saratogian. Frank Sinatra and Liza Minnellli may love New York but Schumer loves New York brew.

As he kicks off his campaign this week, Schumer is hoping that New York brewers will sell more product and thus have to add to their employee rolls, the Saratogian reports.Continue reading...

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