Chili’s Serves Southwest Special Promo

DALLAS Chili’s and Southwest Airlines, both clients of Omnicom Group’s GSD&M, are teaming up in promotion that includes a contest for 15 vacation packages, the companies said.

GSD&M, based in Austin, Texas, is handling advertising for the promotion.

Winners of the drawing that runs through Feb. 6 will receive vacation packages for two to Albuquerque and Santa Fe, N.M., Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Antonio and San Diego.

Chili’s is using the promotion to draw customers to its restaurants. The eatery is advertising Grilled Southwest Combinations starting at $8.99.

The trips in the contest are provided by Southwest Airlines Vacations in Orlando, Fla., and operated by The Mark Travel Corp. Southwest Airlines’ corporate offices are located in Dallas.

“We automatically thought of Southwest Airlines Vacations to join us in the promotion,” said Todd Diener, Chili’s president. “We bring tasty Southwestern dishes to our guests and Southwest Airlines Vacations takes them there.”

The value of the deal was not disclosed. Chili’s spent $101 million on advertising in 2004 and $88 million through October 2005. Southwest spent $153 million on ads in 2004 and $137 million through October 2005, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Chili’s is part of Dallas-based Brinker International, whose other restaurant concepts include Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Maggiano’s Little Italy, On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina and Corner Bakery Cafe.