Wienerschnitzel is the world’s largest hot dog chain, with 327 restaurants in 11 states and a menu primarily of hot dogs and fries. But in the world of Limited Service Restaurant chains (LSR), America was having a love affair with pizza, tacos, burgers and the ubiquitous chicken sandwich. While Wienerschnitzel was still seeing sales growth, we needed to make Hot Dogs exciting again.
We set out to find out why, gathering groups of hot dog lovers and hot dog skeptics from New York City, Dallas, San Francisco and Los Angeles to hear in their own words “What do Hot Dogs need to overcome?” and “What can Wienerschnitzel learn from this?”
We quickly learned that people love hot dogs but often associated them with nostalgic times or thought of them as a food of the past. Worse, the image of a hot dog restaurant seemed outdated compared to trending foods of the moment. We needed to reinvigorate and modernize their relationship with this iconic food.
We set out to put a contemporary spin on a classic brand, allowing customers to re-establish a relationship with a likeable restaurant and its new, modern brand personality.
Our campaign, “The Delicious Crew,” positioned Wienerschnitzel as a purveyor of unfettered happiness in a bun, shot exclusively in a new, modern restaurant that customers could see themselves sitting down with friends and family. The spots used quirky humor and charm delivered by Todd and Lisa, two enthusiastic, passionate employees, and the food became the star. We were able to showcase the restaurant and the brand in a fresh, young, and unapologetic way that showed off how fun their food and restaurants can be. It was distinctively Wienerschnitzel.
With the new campaign taking shape, we updated the media strategy with the idea of the “Hungry Hours.” We focused media schedules around the time of craveable decision-making, which meant we walked away from early morning news. We chose to air our creative around lunch time, right before dinner time and in the evenings when people are getting that final snack of the night. We added radio to our media mix to reach the light TV viewers and to ensure people heard that new personality when they were on the go. When the craving hit, they’d hear our message and could make a quick and delicious decision to visit a Wienerschnitzel.
In addition to the broadcast campaign, a complete reboot was in store for Wienerschnitzel’s owned social. We introduced a bold new illustrated look with a cohesive, fresh and ownable aesthetic as a further extension of their new personality. This perfect combination of art and message evoked familiarity and the excitement of something new, and boosted awareness across all media. We experienced incredible positive numbers on social engagement and growth after we launched this online campaign.
We launched “We Do Delicious” on April 26, 2020, just as the entire restaurant industry came to a screeching halt which made these results mean that much more.