Foote, Cone & Belding here conducted "Mind and Mood" consumer research to conceive three ideas it pitched to win the creative portion of Applebee's International's $35 million advertising account.
The agency is expected to break a brand campaign this fall that will seek to capitalize on Applebee's Neighborhood Bar and Grill's positioning as a "mainstream American restaurant concept," said Ron Bess, president of FCB Worldwide.
FCB replaces Wyse Advertising in Cleveland, which was ousted in a review that came down to finalists Campbell Mithun Esty in Minneapolis and The Richards Group of Dallas. Effective Marketing Strategies in Marina del Rey, Calif., was the consultant for the account review.
Applebee's previous tagline, "You belong at Applebee's," will be changed in FCB's image work, Bess said. The client asked finalist agencies to present three creative ideas. FCB conducted research using its Mind and Mood methods.
"These folks want a branding effort, not price-point advertising," Bess said of the Overland Park, Kan., client.
FCB's experience in field marketing for Taco Bell also came into play, Bess said.
With 950 units in the U.S. and sales of about $2.2 billion in 1998, Applebee's was the twelfth-largest restaurant company in Chicago-based Technomic Information Services' rankings. Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar accounted for the bulk of sales, although the chain also operates IRC Specialty Restaurants and Rio Brava Cantinas.