With my newfound abundance of time, I have taken up many new hobbies, my favorite being amateur advertising and marketing analysis. Ive noticed myself becoming increasingly aware of advertising campaigns and branding trends, which may have a direct correlation with the amount of time Im spending on the internet and watching TV, but that can be neither confirmed nor denied.
It seems the biggest trend in American advertising is "understanding the economic crisis". It is quite posh for companies to show they care about you during these tough economic times, in varying degrees of obviousness. Hyundai will let you give your car back if you lose your job, cities are organizing half-off gift certificates to local businesses, and Cash 4 Gold is working hard to rip off old people...I mean, "give" old people cash in exchange for their gold and jewels. But the real winner in marketing's economic crisis-a-thon is America's last option in breakfast, Denny's. Let's be real with ourselves for a second, unless you're Mike Murphy, you haven't been to Denny's in a long time, and when you consider your dine-out options, ANYTHING is a better option...Im talking like sketchy Indian buffet at 9am--and it has been like this for a long time. But it is now 2009, Barack is prez and Denny's has decided it is time for change!(in marketing, not food).
Taking the advice of White House Cheif of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel; Denny's is not letting this "crisis go to waste". Advertising (for the first time) during the super bowl that they would be giving away their signature meal, the Grand Slam, FOR FREE on the coming Tuesday. Thus resulting in a 3-pronged effect of introducing/reintroducing Denny's to the American people, showing the people that Denny's unerstands the current economic crisis and empathizes with us, and sets the free shit give-away bar at $5.99. Brilliant AND awesome.
But the true genius is in the timing...giving just one day to generate the time-sensitive word of mouth buzz. And judging by the turnout (2 million people in America) the hype machine is extremely effective in short bursts. Im talking about it, local news statsions are talking about it, even the late night talk show hosts are talking about it. All the while Denny's has quietly begun a modest post-free Grand Slam ad campaign reminding us that they were there for us in our time of need. Well played Denny's, well played.
So my challenge to IHOP, what are YOU going to do to help us through these trying times?