99’ers Serve Up Meal Deals

BOSTON Allen & Gerritsen focuses on cheap eats for tight times in its latest work for the Ninety Nine Restaurant chain. The campaign introduces the tagline, “Great Meal. Great Deal.”
Much of the multimedia effort involves a kids’ brand promotion featuring the 99’ers, a group of youthful characters appearing on menus, crayon boxes and collectors cups.
A Web site redesign, radio spots and various collateral elements are all in the mix. Scratch-and-win cards — available through mid-May — give patrons the chance to wins prizes like Red Sox tickets and $99 gift cards redeemable at the restaurant’s 116 locations.
“Our campaign touches all points of engagement,” said Andrew Graff, CEO of Watertown, Mass.-based A&G. “Consumers have many choices, and we are making it easier for them to choose the Ninety Nine Restaurant.”
The chain operates in New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and typically spends $500,000-1 million annually on ads. Spending for the “Great Meal. Great Deal” push was not disclosed.
The effort follows a national trend by eateries to address consumer cost-concerns as belts begin to (metaphorically) tighten. Denny’s post-Super Bowl Grand Slam Breakfast giveaway was probably the best example. And CiCi’s Pizza is dropping a million pennies in streets near its restaurants nationwide as part of a promotion launched by ad shop Deutsch. One notable exception is the newly-launched Hill, Holliday initiative for Chili’s, which goes to great lengths to emphasize taste and variety.