Red Robin and KBS Are So Over the Whole ‘Man Bun’ Thing

By Patrick Coffee 

Just over one year ago, our culture reached peak “man bun” with a GQ article defining the style as “the final frontier of grooming.” We had somehow avoided it up to that point in spite of BuzzFeed’s prescient October 2014 listicle warning that “man buns are taking over the world” via a bunch of eminently punchable model bros.

But wait, the trend is not over! A bar located in Bushwick, Brooklyn (of course) is now offering free beer to dudes who chop off their buns. And fast casual chain Red Robin uses the world’s most hated(?) hairstyle to promote its new bunless sandwiches with a campaign by creative AOR KBS.

See, you get it. Red Robin is playing on the fact that lots of people want to lose a bit of the old gut in the new year, and if Dr. Atkins taught us anything it’s that buns are VERY BAD. It has also introduced the Chicken Avocado Wedgie Burger for all those dudes who aren’t quite ready to give up their sandwiches.

In keeping with its past strategy, Red Robin will not be running any TV ads with this campaign, but it’s active on digital and social under the #LOSETHEBUN tag. Here’s the first swipe left/right Instagram post.


Bun or no bun, our tavern burgers are always $6.99* (with bottomless fries, of course). #LoseTheBun

A video posted by Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (@redrobinburgers) on

FOR CONTEXT: It feels like forever ago when we ran a post about Red Robin launching a creative review after Vitro handled its media and creative business for more than three years.

Various parties later told us of a somewhat difficult split with Vitro, which retained some parts of the business while the review was ongoing. But KBS and that shop’s side unit The Media Kitchen won the review in July. According to the client’s CMO, they did so by proving that the chain could “leverage the currency of burger culture to guide our strategy.”

The concept of a bunless burger still bothers us somehow.


Agency: KBS
Patrick Scissons – Global Chief Creative Officer
Deb Maltzman – Creative Director
Angela Denise – Creative Director
Stephanie Del Rosal – Senior Art Director
Meredith Young – Senior Copywriter
Mike Mierz – Art Director
Emily Steele – Integrated Producer
Jenny Read – Head of Production
Kim Jose – Executive Producer
George Marks – Associate Producer
Joe Dimaio – Post Producer
Matt Pizzano – Director
Christina Woolston – Line Producer
Vic Barczyk – Senior Editor
Jeff Dirdack – Assistant Editor
Anna Pascual – Motion Graphic Artist

Cindy Hoffman – Senior Content Business Affairs Manager
Ritu Sharma – Group Business Lead
Emily Robbins – Business Director
Mitch Katz – Account Executive, Business Leadership

Audio Mix
Sonic Union
Paul Weiss – Mix Engineer

Irving Harvey
Samuel Gursky – Colorist