Bob Evans Kids Around

Children take the lead in a new campaign from Chicago Creative Partnership that aims to reposition Bob Evans Farms Restaurants.
“People think of [Bob Evans] as skewing to an older market,” said Kevin Houlihan, CCP executive creative director. “We want to reposition it as a family restaurant.”
The campaign’s 13 TV spots began airing in selected markets last week, and roll out to others this week. Directed by kid specialist Bob Ebel, each commercial features children talking about how much they like going to Bob Evans. The kids expound on everything from the size of the portions to the Bob Evans sign.
“We want to impart the message that kids love Bob Evans and Bob Evans loves kids,” Houlihan said.
The campaign maintains the restaurant chain’s tagline, “We are family,” developed by CCP last year. The client was initially inclined to change the tag, but opted to keep it for the new family-friendly campaign, Houlihan said.
“It’s a good line, and it’s an ownable line for them,” he said.
The spots will run throughout the year as an overlay to the restaurant’s traditional promotional and seasonal advertising efforts.
“It’s really a new idea for them,” Houlihan said.
Billings were not disclosed, but Houlihan said Bob Evans has increased its budget for 1998. The chain, which operates in 19 states, is a division of Columbus, Ohio-based Bob Evans Farms Inc. It spent over $10 million last year, according to sources.