BE&P Gets Real With New Sonic Campaign

Barkley Evergreen & Partners uses a hidden camera to show the differences between Sonic Drive-Ins and other fast food chains in a campaign touting its new break fast offerings.

“A lot of fast-food companies are already firmly entrenched in breakfast,” said Brian Bro o ker, the Kansas City, Mo., shop’s president and chief creative officer. “In order to get people to try something else, we needed to take this approach.”

The television campaign, which broke in Memphis and Dallas last week and will roll into other markets throughout the year, depicts two people in competing fast-food restaurant drive-throughs. As they order services and products norm ally carried by Sonic, such as flavored Cokes, a hidden camera catches employees’ reactions.

The spots were shot over four 10-hour days in Arizona. The consumers are portrayed by actors cast out of Chicago’s Second City comedy troupe, lending an improvisational quality to the spots, Brooker said.

“It’s all as it occurs,” Brooker said. “The humor comes out of the situation.”

The campaign marks a different approach for the Tulsa, Okla., chain, Brooker said. Its previous ad vertising focused on the com pany’s monthly specials, he said.

“[These ads] don’t feel like commercials,” he said. “This is more of a total campaign approach.”

While the monthly-special ads will run concurrently with the new campaign, it’s possible the characters in the new ads could appear in spots advertising non-breakfast fare, Brooker said. “We’ll see if they catch on,” he said.