Jordan Revamps Long John Silver’s Fast-Food Chain Is Positioned as ‘The Meal You’ve Been Missing’

By Hank Kim

NEW YORK–Jordan, McGrath, Case & Taylor is repositioning Long John Silver’s Restaurants under the theme ‘The Meal You’ve Been Missing’ in its first campaign for the fast-food chain since winning the account earlier this year.

JMC&T, which was awarded the broadcast creative portion of the $45 million account in March, attempts to modernize the Lexington, Ky.-based chain as a fun, tasty ‘meal’ alternative to typical burger and fries combos offered elsewhere.

The three TV spots take an offbeat ad approach. In one 30-second spot called ‘Tryst,’ a man who suspects his wife is having an affair hires a private eye to trail her to a motel. To his surprise, he barges in on her alone, eating a Long John

Silver’s fish dinner. In another spot called ‘Doggies,’ a harried driver whose van is packed with barking dogs can only shut them up with a stop at Long John Silver’s for a deluxe order of hush puppies.

The client awarded creative duties to JMC&T and media buying to Western International Media, Los Angeles, after a review. Since 1989, the account had been handled by Temerlin McClain in Irving, Texas. Temerlin used the theme ‘Take a Fresh Look at Long John’s’ in its final campaign.

‘In the past year, we have revitalized our menu, added new products, like Long John Wraps, and made the customer the king. We need to convey that new approach to people,’ said Michael Kern, senior vice president of marketing for the client.

‘Mike Kern wanted an innovative departure from the retail-specific, parity-oriented advertising that Temerlin was doing, and supported us by selling it internally,’ said Jeff Griffith, a creative director at JMC&T. Griffith developed the advertising concept and executions with partner and creative director Tracy Spinney.

The new campaign is a client reaction to recent sluggish sales performances: 1996 sales were down to $893 million, from $911 million the previous year. The client recently awarded a test branding project to N.W. Ayer & Partners in Chicago.

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