Dixie Builds Diners in Dead Zones to Help Friends and Families Reconnect

No more distracting smartphones

You might complain about your crappy cell service every now and then, but in 2016 it's pretty hard to find a dead zone. That means it's much easier for us to be glued to our smartphones all the time.

Dixie, a champion of putting down cell phones and enjoying quality time at the dinner table, knows it's not always easy to find these dead zones. So it set out, in partnership with Droga5, to find a few spots across Los Angeles with bad service. In each of those three locations the brand set up diners, called "Deadzone Diners," where reception was dreadful and diners couldn't escape talking to each other.

"Mealtime is a great time to catch up. It's really the only sacred face-to-face moment we still have with our family," Devon Hong, Droga5 creative director, said.

The diners are in some pretty unique locations including a remote hillside that serves breakfast, a cave with ice cream and an old federal reserve vault for dinner. When searching for these remote locations, Droga5 and Dixie took four cell phones, from four different carriers, and placed them on a clipboard. Using an app that measures connectivity levels, the team found the three locations with the worst service and constructed the diners there. 

While not everyone can visit the diners, although nearly 1,000 people did stop by over three days in August, Dixie hopes to inspire families across the country to rethink dead zones. "Rather than being something negative we want people to start looking at these spaces as a little sanctuary for you to spend quality time with other people," Hong said.

As part of the campaign Dixie also partnered with chef and TV personality Carla Hall to cook up some recipes for the different locations. Her recipes will also be featured on the Deadzone Diners website for families to recreate in their own dead zones, or just their kitchens.

One of the three Deadzone Diners is in a federal reserve vault in L.A. Dixie

Nearly 1,000 people visited the three diner locations over three days. Dixie

The Chew co-host Carla Hall made an appearance at one of the diners. She also created some recipes for the campaign as well. Dixie

The cave diner served delicious, cool ice cream treats. Dixie


Droga5 placed one of the Dixie diners inside a cave. Dixie

Over three days, nearly 1,000 people stopped by the different diners to enjoy a meal together. Dixie

The team placed warning signs for friends and families entering the dead zones. Dixie


        The final Deadzone Diner was held on a hillside with poor reception. Dixie


Agency: Droga5 NY
Creative Chairman: David Droga
Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer
Executive Creative Director: Neil Heyman
Creative Directors: Devon Hong, Tara Lawall, Jeff Scardino
Copywriter: Mietta McFarlane
Art Director: Luke Chard
Jr. Copywriter: Ted Meyer
Jr. Art Director: Tommaso Fontanella
Executive Design Director: Rob Trostle
Design Director: Rich Greco 
Senior Designer: Nate Moore
UX Designer: Brett Stiller
Design Intern: Ian Plath
Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
Head of Interactive Production: Niklas Lindstrom
Executive Interactive Producer: Tasha Cronin
Senior Social Producer: Chris Parke
Social Producer: Gabrielle Nicoletti
Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
Group Strategy Director: Elaine Purcell 
Strategist: Newman Granger    
Senior Communications Strategist: Delphine McKinley
Senior Data Strategist: Brad Mumbrue
Data Strategist: Remy Lupica
Executive Group Director: Brett Edgar
Account Director: Ross Gillis
Account Manager: Ashton Atlas
Associate Account Manager: Kyra Gembka
Project Managers: Nicole Spaeth, Michelle Yee

Client: Georgia-Pacific / Dixie  
Senior Director, Brand Center: Shari Neumann
Senior Brand Director: Andrew Noble
Senior Brand Manager: Gary Berger
Brand Building Leader: Teresa Bossong
Senior Associate Brand Manager: Nelie Zanca
Associate Brand Manager: Diana Black
Social Media Specialist: Brooke Lujano

Production Company: Snippies
Director: Roman Luck
DOP: Roman Luck
Executive Producer: Tom Dicerbo
Producer: Shelley Maclachlan

Editorial: Snippies
Editor: Tim Hickson  
Assistant Editor: Jake Birnbaum
Executive Producer: Tom Dicerbo
Producer: Shelley Maclachlan

Post Production: Snippies
Executive Producer: Tom Dicerbo
Producer: Shelley Maclachlan

Music: APM
(Song/composer/etc. to suit): Pretty Baby
Sound: Snippies
Mixer: Tim Hickson

Experiential Production Company: na collective
Executive Producer: Jim Striebich   
Producer: Nicolette Coan

Photographer: Name – Rich Fury