Bogusky-Affiliated Made Movement Uses ‘Hamilton’ to Promote TGI Friday’s

By Erik Oster 

Made Movement, the Boulder agency Alex Bogusky joined as an investor and advisor in 2012, launched a new digital spot for TGI Friday’s which seeks to capitalize on the tremendous success of Hamilton, that perpetually sold-out musical.

In “Check,” Made Movement plays off of Alexander Hamilton’s appearance on the ten dollar bill. After promising to set up his friends with his “wig guy” a waitress comes to their table with the check. Feeling generous, the nation’s first Secretary of Treasury tells them he’s got the check, falling backwards on the table, as the scene shifts to a ten dollar bill being set down in his place and the voiceover promoting the chain’s “One Hamilton, one full-rack of ribs “deal.

“When we were doing ad testing for another product promotion, the agency came back with the idea that everyone will talk about money in different denominations—what if we leverage Hamilton?”  TGI Friday vice president of marketing activation Cindy Syracuse explained to Adweek.

The approach makes sense for the brand, as TGI Friday’s continues to try to appeal to millenial audiences, in this case leveraging the Hamilton phenomenon. Unfortunately the humor falls flat, as the references feel sophomoric (a musket balls joke, really?) and only detract from the eventual connection to the brand with the “One Hamilton, one full-rack of ribs “deal.

“Check” will run in 30 and 8-second versions online and on social media, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and a 15-second version will air on broadcast. Additionally, there’s a series of digital spots featuring Hamilton weighing in with “Meaty Thoughts” on topics including his wig and man buns.

Syracuse emphasized to Adweek that despite the heavy digital push, the brand was not cutting its broadcast spending, saying, “I don’t cut TV weight to have digital—we don’t want to reduce our footprint in television, but it’s important to understand and be efficient in how you use digital media.”