Denny's gave away 2 million Grand Slam Breakfasts last year two days after the Super Bowl. For an encore, the restaurant chain plans to give away hundreds of millions throughout 2010.
On Super Bowl Sunday, Denny's will run three commercials promoting another day of free breakfast meals and the return of its Birthday Giveaway, where customers get a free meal with proof of date of birth. That promotion hasn't been offered in nearly 15 years, said John Dillon, vp, marketing at Denny's. "For us, the benefit is that they usually bring other people with them," he added.
Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein in San Francisco is Denny's lead agency.
The chain plans to give away so many breakfasts, its Super Bowl ads feature a spokesperson warning chickens to clear out of town. "It's going to be a tough week for egg layers," he warns in one 30-second spot; chickens react with shock when they learn that Denny's is giving away Original Grand Slam breakfasts on Tuesday, Feb. 9.
"Consumers said it real well, 'You gave America a big hug,'" said Dillon of last year's promotion. "We were thrilled to be able to provide that to our guests and we want do it again on a bigger level."
While last year's giveaway produced a sales jump in the first quarter, the new initiatives are designed to drive sales throughout the year.
After last year's Super Bowl, traffic to Denny's Web site  jumped to 50 million impressions in the week following the giveaway announcement. To further encourage online activity after the upcoming game, the chain is extending the chicken-themed campaign online with exclusive Webisodes and by offering consumers the chance to win a weekly free Grand Slam for a year. One winner will be announced on the site each week for 52 weeks.
The company is also introducing a new rewards program and offering a free burger and fries to the first 500,000 who sign up.
For a limited time, Denny's will also offer free refills on orders of pancakes and fries.
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