MARC Keys on Checkers’ Speed

The basic need to eat, and the more modern desire to eat quickly, make up the simple idea behind MARC USA’s de-but campaign for Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, which also includes drive-ins bearing the Rally’s name.

TV spots in the $10 million effort are tagged “You gotta eat,” and that’s essentially why Checkers says it fits into a busy lifestyle.

“People just don’t have time, and there’s lots of times where they just want a good, fast bite,” said Ed Fine, executive vice president and chief creative officer at the Pittsburgh agency.

“No matter how many soccer moms, no matter how many kids they have to pick up, no matter the stress and strain in your life, you still have to eat. This is the role we wanted to play in people’s lives,” he said.

MARC won the account for the Clearwater, Fla., Checkers chain in November following a review. MARC beat out Berenter Greenhouse & Webster in New York, and Austein Kelley Advertising and Fitzgerald & Co., both in Atlanta. The incumbent, Crispin Porter & Bogusky in Miami, did not participate in the review after three years on the account.

The campaign opens with a 60-second spot and will run in 28 markets in the Midwest and Southeast.

Checkers’ double drive-through makes fast service an inherent selling point. “That is an inherent niche there,” Fine said.

In the spots, which include 30-second versions with back-end promotions, original music Fine described as “rap-hop” backs shots of people doing activities from skateboarding to swing dancing while eating Checkers food. Specifics of the food are not an element of the ads. Lyrics focus on the need for food and the promise that “We’ll get you in; we’ll get you out.”

“It’s more about a role we play in your life than how many sesame seeds are on our golden bun,” Fine said.

The spots break Jan. 10. The campaign also includes print, radio and point-of-purchase. K